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Tuesday, Mar 03rd

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John Boehner Blinks, Will Allow For Clean Funding Of Department Of Homeland Security

John BoehnerThe House will finally vote on a bill to fund the Department of Homeland Security without immigration measures, Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told his conference at a meeting on Tuesday.

The vote will come after the House narrowly averted a shutdown last Friday when the House GOP rejected a "clean" DHS funding bill passed in the Senate, and then 52 conservative Republican members joined Democrats to block even a three-week continuing resolution. The House passed a one-week funding bill in hopes that Senate Democrats would allow a conference between the two chambers to go forward, but that was rejected on Monday.

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Congress passes one-week DHS fix

US CongressThe House voted late Friday to stave off a shutdown of the Department of Homeland Security for another week, narrowly averting a funding lapse for the agency that has become the battleground over President Barack Obama’s executive actions on immigration.

The vote was 357-60. The Senate approved the stopgap measure earlier Friday evening and it now goes to President Barack Obama for his signature.

The 11th-hour vote came after senior House and Senate Democratic aides said they had reached a deal with Republicans: House Democrats would help Republicans pass a one-week funding extension under suspension of the rules, which would require a two-thirds vote in the House, and thus Democratic cooperation.

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John Boehner Humiliated As House Republicans Defeat His Bill To Keep Homeland Security Open

Boehner humiliatedIn a crushing defeat for John Boehner, his own House Republicans defeated the Speaker’s bill, and jeopardized national security by voting against a three week funding bill for Homeland Security.

The final vote was 202-224. Twelve Democrats voted yes, and 51 Republicans voted no.

Twice before the final vote, the House was forced into recess because Boehner was trying to scrounge up the votes to pass his funding bill. Before the vote, Nancy Pelosi told Republicans that they were allowing their hatred of President Obama to jeopardize Homeland Security.

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Senate panel approves AG nominee Lynch

Loretta LynchThe Senate Judiciary Committee voted Thursday to advance Loretta Lynch to be the nation's next attorney general, overcoming Republican objections to her support of President Obama's executive action on immigration.

Lynch's committee approval, by a vote of 12-8, sets up final consideration by the full Senate.

The panel's vote comes nearly a month after a confirmation hearing in which the 55-year-old career federal prosecutor promised to repair the Justice Department's strained relationship with Congress and confront simmering racial tensions over law enforcement's dealings in minority communities across the country.

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Powerful Senate Republican tamping down torture disclosures

Richard BurrWhen the Senate Intelligence Committee released the much anticipated executive summary of the full report on the CIA’s torture program on Dec. 9, details of techniques like extreme sleep deprivation and anal rehydration gripped the country.

Now the committee’s new Republican chairman is trying to make sure that disclosure is its last.

Sen. Richard Burr, R-N.C., took over as the committee’s chairman in January, after the GOP midterm landslide gave control of the Senate to the Republicans. An intelligence hawk, he has quickly moved to keep documents related to the CIA’s interrogation program out of the public eye and the Intelligence Committee under tight control.

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Nancy Pelosi leads House delegation to Cuba

Nancy PelosiHouse Democratic leader Nancy Pelosi traveled with a congressional congregation to Cuba on Tuesday.

The trip is the first official House delegation to travel to the island nation since President Barack Obama announced late last year an easing of trade restrictions with the Castro regime.

“This delegation travels to Cuba in friendship and to build upon the announcement of U.S. normalization of relations and other initiatives announced by President Obama,” Pelosi (D-Calif.) said. “This delegation will work to advance the U.S.-Cuba relationship and build on the work done by many in the Congress over the years, especially with respect to agriculture and trade.”

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Congress clears Keystone XL pipeline bill, setting up veto

Keystone voteThe Republican-controlled Congress approved a bill Wednesday to construct the Keystone XL oil pipeline, setting up a confrontation with President Barack Obama, who has threatened to veto the measure.

The House voted 270-152 to send the bill to the president, endorsing changes made by the Senate that stated climate change was real and not a hoax, and oil sands should no longer be exempt from a tax used to cleanup oil spills. Only one Republican voted against the measure.

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