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By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 2, 2012
Democratic members of the Maryland Senate  caucused Wednesday morning  in Annapolis, apparently summoned by Senate President Thomas V. Mike Miller to discuss the prospects for special sessions of the General Assembly this year. More than half the members of the Senate's majority party got together at 8 a.m. in the James Senate Office Building. Senators said they expect Miller to take soundings on how much support he could count on for plans to raise income taxes to avert hundreds of millions of dollars in budget cuts.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and The Baltimore Sun | September 12, 2014
President Barack Obama laid out a sobering view of the international crises that have beset his administration this year - and tried to make the case for returning Democrats to the Senate majority - at a small gathering of political donors in Baltimore on Friday. Speaking at the home of a hedge fund manager who is among the country's foremost advocates for Israel, Obama said the Islamic State fighters who have taken over portions of Iraq and Syria have displayed "the kind of brutality that even by the standards of terrorists is extraordinary.
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NEWS
December 27, 2011
Your Dec. 22 editorial "The GOP tax hike" could just as easily have been titled "The Democratic tax hike," with the sub-headline: "By rejecting the House's tax-cut extension for one year, which President Obama asked for, the Senate put the U.S. economy at risk. " This would have been a failure of both parties - not to mention a total lack of leadership and involvement by the president. Lyle Rescott, Marriottsville
NEWS
By John Fritze and Luke Broadwater, The Baltimore Sun | June 10, 2014
Mayor Stephanie Rawlings-Blake - who has gained a national reputation for welcoming Hispanic families to Baltimore - joined a growing chorus of Maryland officials Tuesday raising concerns over a proposal to turn a vacant office building in the city into a shelter for immigrant children largely from Central America. Rawlings-Blake said she has "serious concerns" about an idea being explored by the Obama administration to retrofit the massive office complex on North Greene Street known as Metro West to help contain a recent surge in unaccompanied children who are crossing the border illegally.
NEWS
By Maura Reynolds and Maura Reynolds,LOS ANGELES TIMES | April 29, 2005
WASHINGTON - In a piece of parliamentary choreography that moves the Senate closer to confrontation, Majority Leader Sen. Bill Frist offered yesterday to give Democrats 100 hours to debate judicial nominees on the condition that they permit each nominee a vote. Sen. Harry Reid, the minority leader, immediately rejected the offer but said he was willing to continue discussions. "I don't really like the proposal given, but I'm not going to throw it away," Reid said. Frist had long pledged to make a compromise offer, which has been widely viewed as a final gesture before Republicans proceed with what has become known as the "nuclear option" - changing Senate rules to prevent Democrats from filibustering judicial nominees.
NEWS
By Susan Baer and Susan Baer,Washington Bureau of The Sun | July 30, 1994
WASHINGTON -- As the Senate opened its Whitewater hearings yesterday, the lawmakers tried to tread gently on what they acknowledged was a topic that bordered on the macabre: last year's death of Deputy White House Counsel Vincent W. Foster Jr.But on the topic of the administration's handling of the Whitewater matter, the members of the Banking Committee came out swinging, launching fresh charges of White House misconduct and deception.Unlike this week's Whitewater hearings in the House, where the relentless Republican attacks could be chalked up to partisan sniping, several Democratic senators were skeptical about the truthfulness of administration officials and the propriety of some of their actions in handling the Whitewater matter.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | August 3, 2005
WASHINGTON - President Bush's recess appointment of John R. Bolton as ambassador to the United Nations is yet another presidential thumb to the nose at the Senate and at the United Nations. It demonstrates again the president's willingness - his compulsion - for confrontation, and is another manifestation of his bully boy inclination to fight rather than switch, or even conciliate. Rather than provide Senate Democrats with information they say would settle the issue of whether the combative Mr. Bolton used his muscle and his own infamous bullying tactics on intelligence officials, Mr. Bush decided to end-run them by appointing him when they're taking their summer recess.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | December 3, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats and Republicans chose new leaders yesterday who, after the upheaval produced by the midterm elections, promise a sharp change from the old ways of doing business.Sen. Thomas A. Daschle, 46, of South Dakota, who was elected to be the Democratic minority leader, immediately cut his colleagues loose from President Clinton, whom many Democrats blame for their party's loss of majority status."We're not going to be led by them [the White House]," Mr. Daschle said after the closed-door election, which he won by one vote, 24-23, over Christopher J. Dodd of Connecticut.
NEWS
By Nick Anderson and Nick Anderson,SPECIAL TO THE SUN | November 19, 2002
WASHINGTON - The Senate divided sharply yesterday on a Democratic proposal to strip a handful of special-interest provisions from the bill that would create a new homeland security agency. The Democratic amendment has prompted a heated debate over legal protections for vaccine makers and other businesses at a moment when Bush stands on the verge of achieving the most significant government reorganization since the start of the Cold War. At issue are seven provisions in the House-passed homeland security bill.
NEWS
By JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG and JAN CRAWFORD GREENBURG,CHICAGO TRIBUNE | January 14, 2006
WASHINGTON -- As the weeklong hearings on Judge Samuel A. Alito Jr.'s Supreme Court nomination came to an end yesterday, Senate Democrats indicated that they would delay a vote on his nomination for a week. But those on both sides of the aisle said they expected Alito to be confirmed this month, without a filibuster, by the full Senate. Gaveling the hearing to a close yesterday afternoon, Judiciary Committee Chairman Arlen Specter announced that he would vote for Alito, setting the stage for a 10-8 party-line vote in the committee in favor of the nomination.
NEWS
March 19, 2014
Learning more about the causes of injury and death and recommending policies that might lengthen people's lives has long been the mission of the public health community. Under those circumstances, it's hardly surprising that those in the field are concerned not only about viruses and infectious agents but also about firearm-related injuries and deaths. For years, doctors have been looking at gun violence, the nature of the injuries it causes and the policies that might prevent it. This is strictly mainstream stuff.
NEWS
December 2, 2013
In response to Jules Witcover's column ("Nuclear option preserves majority rule for Senate Democrats," Nov. 26), I guess if I threaten to kill someone, but don't do it, I am still liable for murder charge. This is equivalent to the argument that the Democrats doing the "option" is turnaround as fair play. You would think the White House or George Soros could send your columnist better arguments than that. Why don't the Democrats just use the "reconciliation" method and kickbacks?
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | November 25, 2013
Standing in a warehouse full of food for needy families, three Democratic lawmakers called Monday for Congress to avoid sharp cuts to food stamps proposed in a $500 billion farm bill. Lawmakers want to pass the massive legislation by the end of the year, but talks between House and Senate negotiators have stalled over how much should be cut from food stamps — a program that helps to feed one in seven Americans. "We're not talking about lavish meals," Rep. Elijah E. Cummings, a Baltimore Democrat, said during an event at the Maryland Food Bank in Halethorpe where he was joined by Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski and Rep. John Sarbanes of Baltimore County.
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | November 22, 2013
President Barack Obama has nominated a Johns Hopkins University professor to lead research at the Environmental Protection Agency — an appointment likely to stir controversy among senators concerned about the agency's reach. Thomas A. Burke, an environmental epidemiologist at the Bloomberg School of Public Health and former New Jersey state official, would serve as an assistant administrator for the EPA's scientific research arm, among the agency's highest-profile divisions. "He's incredibly thoughtful and enthusiastic," said Maryland Health Secretary Joshua M. Sharfstein, who said that as Baltimore's health commissioner he often relied on Burke's counsel.
NEWS
November 21, 2013
While there may be some bruised feelings and anger left behind in the aftermath, the so-called "nuclear option" unleashed Thursday by Senate Major Leader Harry Reid and the Democrats hardly seems worthy of its destructive billing. It means only that from now on in judicial nominations other than those for the Supreme Court, the majority will no longer have to muster 60 votes to win confirmation. That Senate Republicans immediately compared the change in Senate rules to Obamacare - a non sequitur if ever there was one - was only symptomatic of the political polarization that required such a change in the first place.
NEWS
October 9, 2013
Unconditional surrender. That's what House Speaker John Boehner has called it if Republicans go along with President Barack Obama's position that the government shutdown must be halted and the debt limit raised before negotiations over their grievances can commence. It's not difficult to see how he and his fire-breathing tea party allies might see it that way. Just as kidnappers don't normally release their hostages before the ransom demands are met, the hard-liners in the GOP believe this is the moment of maximum leverage when they can extract the most from their adversaries.
NEWS
By Julie Hirschfeld Davis and Julie Hirschfeld Davis,SUN NATIONAL STAFF | July 31, 2002
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats scrambled yesterday to garner support for their latest plan to provide prescription drug coverage to seniors, but they were still short of the votes necessary to save the measure from defeat today. The Senate is set to vote this morning on the $390 billion proposal, which would provide assistance to the poorest and sickest Medicare beneficiaries. Sponsored by Sens. Bob Graham, a Florida Democrat, and Gordon H. Smith, an Oregon Republican, the plan was scaled back considerably from a $594 billion proposal that Democrats were pushing last week, which would have covered all seniors.
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | March 27, 2004
WASHINGTON - Senate Democrats, turning up the heat in their long-simmering feud with President Bush over judicial nominations, vowed yesterday to block all new federal court appointments unless the White House promises to stop installing judges while Congress is in recess. "We will be clear," the Democratic leader, Sen. Tom Daschle of South Dakota, told his colleagues yesterday morning in a pointed speech on the Senate floor. "We will continue to cooperate in the confirmation of federal judges, but only if the White House gives the assurance that it will no longer abuse the process."
NEWS
By John Fritze, The Baltimore Sun | October 4, 2013
Federal agencies keep track of popcorn production and wallpaper sales, but figuring out exactly how many government employees have been furloughed by the shutdown in a state turns out to be a tricky task. Estimates of the number of Marylanders furloughed last week have been inconsistent and sometimes questionable, even though they could prove important to determining the economic impact in a state with strong ties to the federal government. "They're in every state, but some states have more," J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees, said of federal workers . "And that's going to give you an idea of what the impact is going to be on the local economy.
NEWS
By Jules Witcover | October 3, 2013
When Barack Obama was seeking the presidency in 2008, he pledged to change the way Washington works. Well, it has changed all right, but he has not been the architect. As emphatically confirmed in this week's government shutdown, that deed has been accomplished by the House Republicans, more specifically by their tea party element and by pliable House Speaker John Boehner, who so conspicuously has declined to push back against it. There has been much transparently disingenuous GOP talk about how President Obama and the Senate Democrats refused to negotiate on changes or refunding the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, aka Obamacare.
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