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Tuesday, Jun 30th

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Congress approves formula fixing Medicare doctors pay

medicare bill passesCongress on Tuesday approved a bill to repair the formula for reimbursing Medicare physicians, marking a rare bipartisan achievement just in time to head off a 21 percent cut in the doctors' pay.

Final action came as the Senate voted 92-8 to approve the so-called "doc fix". The House of Representatives had acted over two weeks ago. The bill now goes to President Barack Obama, and he is expected to sign it into law.

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Iran Deal Reached In Senate; Read The Details

Iran bill passes SenateA tentative deal has been reached by senators on a bill to apply congressional oversight to a nuclear deal with Iran.

Under the deal, the president would still be required to submit any final agreement before Congress and Congress would continue to have a say over whether he can lift sanctions on Iran in exchange for restrictions on Iran's nuclear program.

But the new deal, hammered out between Republicans and Democrats on the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, would reduce the time frame the Senate has to consider the lifting of sanctions -- from 60 days to 52 at most -- and would keep demands on Iran limited primarily to its nuclear program and not, for example, against its sponsorship of terrorism.

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Senate Republicans Propose Stripped-Down Equal Pay Bill

equal pay billRepublicans in Congress have taken a lot of heat over the past few years for repeatedly blocking Democrats' equal pay legislation, so this year GOP women senators are proposing a bill of their own to combat the gender wage gap.

But the GOP's stripped-down version of the Paycheck Fairness Act has so far garnered nothing but eye rolls from across the aisle.

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Democrats Blast Sen. Chuck Schumer's Threat to Kill Iran Deal

huk ShumerDemocratic constituency groups opposed to war with Iran are furious that New York Democrat and Senate Minority Leader "heir apparent" Chuck Schumer is threatening to scuttle the possibility of a diplomatic agreement with Iran by supporting legislation - the Corker bill - that would allow Republicans in Congress to veto any deal.

MoveOn.org says:  Supporting reckless legislation that undermines President Obama's diplomacy with Iran and risks a dangerous, unnecessary war in the Middle East should disqualify anyone from leading the Senate Democratic caucus...Sen. Schumer needs to withdraw his support from the Corker and Menendez legislation.

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U.S. Senator Menendez Indicted by U.S. in Corruption Case

Menendez indictedU.S. Senator Robert Menendez was indicted after a corruption investigation into whether he took gifts from a campaign donor, imperiling the political career of one of the most influential Democratic and Latino voices on foreign policy.

Menendez was charged in connection with gifts from Salomon Melgen, a Florida eye doctor and longtime friend who sought his help in a dispute with federal agencies. Menendez is the 12th U.S. senator in history to be charged while serving in office, and the prospect of a lengthy case could put pressure on him to resign. Melgen was also indicted today.

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Petition to prosecute 47 GOP senators over open Iran letter reaches goal

Letter to IranA petition asking to prosecute the 47 U.S. Republican senators, who sent a heavily criticized open letter to Iran's leadership, has reached the goal to require a White House response.

The petition was published on March 9 and reached more than 200,000 signatures in three days, well above the requirement of 100,000, which requires the White House to respond.

The petition cited the 1799 Logan Act, which can carry an imprisonment sentence for up to three years.

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47 GOP Senators: Iran nuclear deal could be temporary

Freshmen senators send letter to ObamaA letter signed by 47 Republican Senators warned Iran any deal over nuclear weapons could last only as long as the Obama administration.

The open letter, by which Senators are attempting to get involved ongoing talks between Western countries and Iran to curtail Iran's nuclear program, prominently mentioned an agreement without congressional approval could be rescinded by the next President.

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