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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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Harry Reid says he will not seek re-election

Harry ReidSenate Minority Leader Harry Reid announced Friday he will not seek re-election to another term, saying he wanted to focus on bringing Democrats back to power in the Senate.

Reid, 75, said in a statement that it would be "inappropriate for me to soak up all those resources when I could be devoting those resources to the caucus, and that's what I intend to do."

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Medicare doctor pay fix prospects brighten in Congress

Medicare doctor payU.S. House of Representatives Speaker John Boehner said on Tuesday that prospects were good for passage of a permanent fix to Medicare's flawed doctor-pay formula, a move that would spare physicians from impending pay cuts.

The Republican leader said the House was intent on avoiding another short-term repair like the ones resorted to previously.

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