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By Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | January 21, 2011
Maryland Senate Republicans chose Sen. Nancy Jacobs as minority leader on Friday — just weeks after voting her out of the minority whip position. The GOP caucus elected Sen. E.J. Pipkin as the new minority whip. The leadership elections followed the resignation of Minority Leader Allan H. Kittleman over his plans to introduce legislation to legalize same-sex civil unions in Maryland. Jacobs, who represents Harford and Cecil counties, said the Senate Republicans' main goal this year will be to "protect constituents who are hurting financially in these tough economic times.
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NEWS
By John Fritze and Jeff Barker, The Baltimore Sun | June 20, 2014
President Barack Obama named a veteran federal official from Maryland to lead the Social Security Administration on Friday, more than a year after the previous director left the critical post. Carolyn W. Colvin, 72, an Arnold native who has served as acting director of the Woodlawn-based agency since last year, would formally take over at a time when budget cuts have forced service reductions and an aging U.S. population has threatened to strain its marquee retirement benefits program.
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BUSINESS
Eileen Ambrose | January 4, 2012
Republicans in the Senate have refused vote for any director of the new Consumer Financial Protection Bureau until the agency is weakened. Without a director, the CFPB's powers are more limited. This morning, the White House announced it would appoint Richard Cordray as director in a recess appointment.  Senate Republicans have tried to block such a move by keeping a Senator or two on the job, so there is no recess. But apparently the White House had enough, according to this press release on its website: "The Constitution gives the President the authority to make temporary recess appointments to fill vacant positions when the Senate is in recess, a power all recent Presidents have exercised.  The Senate has effectively been in recess for weeks, and is expected to remain in recess for weeks.  In an overt attempt to prevent the President from exercising his authority during this period, Republican Senators insisted on using a gimmick called “pro forma” sessions, which are sessions during which no Senate business is conducted and instead one or two Senators simply gavel in and out of session in a matter of seconds.  But gimmicks do not override the President's constitutional authority to make appointments to keep the government running.  Legal experts agree.  In fact, the lawyers who advised President Bush on recess appointments wrote that the Senate cannot use sham “pro forma” sessions to prevent the President from exercising a constitutional...
NEWS
By Michael Dresser, The Baltimore Sun | May 31, 2014
David R. Brinkley has no problem with being called an establishment Republican. He's the party's leader in the Maryland Senate, a master of the state budget process and a pragmatist adept at bringing tax dollars back from Democratic-dominated Annapolis to Frederick and Carroll counties. But the 20-year lawmaker is struggling to beat back an aggressive challenge from the tea party wing of the GOP. Del. Michael J. Hough contends that Brinkley is not ideologically pure enough for the General Assembly's 4th District.
NEWS
By Annie Linskey and Julie Bykowicz, The Baltimore Sun | January 18, 2011
State Sen. Allan H. Kittleman shocked Maryland Republicans by announcing Tuesday that he will step down as Senate minority leader, a decision he said he made after fellow caucus members voiced discomfort with legislation he is pushing to recognize same-sex civil unions. "I'm a social moderate, and I wanted to stand up for what I believe in," the Howard County Republican said in a brief interview Tuesday morning on his way to the Senate chamber. He has held the position for two years.
NEWS
By Karen Hosler and Karen Hosler,Washington Bureau of The Sun | March 9, 1995
WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans declined yesterday to punish Sen. Mark O. Hatfield for his renegade vote against the balanced budget amendment, calling it unfair and unwise to make him the scapegoat for the amendment's narrow defeat.But many Republican senators said they considered the Hatfield controversy a second setback for the party because it diverted public attention away from the six Democrats who switched positions to vote against the amendment last week, after having supported a nearly identical proposal last year.
NEWS
By David Nitkin and David Nitkin,SUN STAFF | March 11, 2005
Sensing that their chance to push for legal changes had arrived, Senate Republicans launched a full debate on the merits of medical malpractice reform yesterday by offering a series of amendments to a more technical bill. "We gave senators an opportunity to vote up and down on individual measures of tort reform," said Sen. Andrew P. Harris, the minority whip from Baltimore County. Each provision offered by Republicans - from allowing insurance companies to spread out payments to victims to tighter caps on pain and suffering awards - was defeated by votes that largely followed party lines.
NEWS
By Carl M. Cannon and Carl M. Cannon,Washington Bureau of The Sun | August 23, 1994
WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans, trying to snatch defeat from the jaws of a White House victory, launched a final -- and formidable -- effort yesterday to scuttle the much-debated $30.2 billion crime bill.White House vote-counters, knowing that under Senate rules they need 60 of the 100 senators to bring the bill to a vote, said last night that they were close -- but not yet close enough. And so President Clinton, as he has for most of the past 10 days, spent another afternoon trying to sweet-talk moderate Republicans and conservative Democrats into rallying behind him."
NEWS
By NEW YORK TIMES NEWS SERVICE | June 14, 1997
WASHINGTON -- Senate Republicans said yesterday that in an effort to balance the federal budget they would try to increase the age of eligibility for Medicare and start charging elderly people $5 for each visit by a home health-care agency.The American Association of Retired Persons (AARP) promptly criticized both proposals, saying they deviated from the "judicious and fair approach" to Medicare taken by House committees.The proposals were advanced by Sen. William V. Roth Jr., a Delaware Republican, as part of a comprehensive package of legislation to slow the growth of Medicare and modernize the program, which finances health care for 38 million elderly or disabled people.
NEWS
By Noam N. Levey and Noam N. Levey,LOS ANGELES TIMES | July 19, 2007
WASHINGTON -- For the seventh time this year, Senate Republicans blocked a measure yesterday to change U.S. policy in Iraq, beating back the latest Democratic proposal to set a timeline for withdrawing troops. Democrats fell eight votes short of the 60 votes demanded by Republican leaders for an amendment to the defense authorization bill being debated in the Senate. Four Republican lawmakers joined Democrats, ending a round-the-clock session orchestrated by Democratic leaders Tuesday night to highlight what they alleged was Republican obstructionism.
NEWS
March 6, 2014
On March 5, 1770, a group of British soldiers fired into an unruly crowd, killing five American civilians in an incident known as the Boston Massacre. Facing murder charges and potentially the death penalty, the soldiers had difficulty finding someone to defend them in court. John Adams agreed to represent them not because he sympathized with their circumstances but because he believed that they had a right to a legal defense. He succeeded, too, as six of the soldiers were acquitted and two convicted only of manslaughter.
NEWS
By Greg Kline | January 22, 2014
I wrote a couple of weeks ago questioning whether the Republicans in the Maryland State Senate would provide spirited opposition to Senate President Mike Miller's agenda . The first test, the vote for Senate president, showed little organized opposition to the status quo in the state Senate. Now, another key vote shows that the diagnosis of "Stockholm Syndrome" among Senate Republicans was right on the nose.  Emergency legislation to save the O'Malley/Brown administration from their disastrous roll-out of the Maryland Health Exchange was passed by the state Senate on a 38-8 vote .  The Republicans who opposed the bill pointed out that the state exchange should be short-circuited completely rather than doubling down on a bureaucratic failure.
NEWS
November 18, 2013
After "60 Minutes" ran a devastating piece on the deadly attack on the U.S. diplomatic mission in Benghazi, South Carolina Sen. Lindsey O. Graham pledged to block President Barack Obama's nominees for Federal Reserve chairman and for the next secretary of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security. Last week, after the CBS report was retracted because the star witness interviewed in the report, a former British security contractor, had been caught lying about whether he was at the site of the attack, the senator's position did not change.
NEWS
November 5, 2013
Most Americans believe that a person should not be discriminated against in the workplace because of sexual orientation. Polls have shown this consistently and strongly for years. So it shouldn't be too much of a shock if the U.S. Senate this week approves legislation to ban on-the-job discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation or gender identity. Yet it is a bit of an eye-opener. Not because it's not the right thing to do but because there are still so many lawmakers in Washington and around the country who favor discrimination.
NEWS
October 17, 2013
Now that the debt limit has been raised, government workers are back to work and the proverbial budgetary can has been kicked a couple of months down the road, the obvious question is, what's next? After venting his spleen a bit over "manufactured crises" today, President Barack Obama offered three items for the congressional agenda - find a balanced approach to the budget, finish immigration reform and pass a farm bill. Yes, they sound familiar and, of course, all three have been stuck in congressional gridlock and the odds of any one of them passing seems long, but - and not to be too Pollyannaish about this - they represent a good starting point.
NEWS
October 14, 2013
With the government shutdown entering its third week and Thursday's deadline to raise the debt ceiling - and hold off potential default - now looming, negotiations appear to have entered a new phase of victim-hood. Apparently, it's not enough for the hostage-taking that started this mess to fail, Republicans fret that Democrats are now pressing their political advantage. At least that's the impression from some in the GOP who went to the airwaves in recent days to warn Democrats not to "get greedy" or "humiliate" their party.
NEWS
By KNIGHT RIDDER/TRIBUNE | June 23, 2005
WASHINGTON - A growing number of Senate Republicans say John Bolton won't be confirmed as United Nations ambassador unless the White House turns over documents that Democrats say they need to assess Bolton's fitness for the post. Though the White House continued yesterday to demand an up-or-down vote on Bolton, these Republican senators say the Senate is in a standoff that only President Bush can resolve. "I hope the president will take a very hard look at the documents," said Sen. Lamar Alexander, a Tennessee Republican.
NEWS
October 1, 1997
NO ISSUE FACING this nation is important enough to remove it from partisan politics. That's the message Senate Republicans send by blocking almost every nomination to fill a federal court vacancy made by President Clinton. They stall whether the nominee is liberal, conservative or moderate. The result is an overwhelmed court system with too few judges to handle the huge docket that stems from drug cases and civil suits.Mr. Clinton decried the partisan politics in his radio address Saturday, but he must share the blame for the judicial appointments morass.
NEWS
By Matthew Hay Brown and The Baltimore Sun | July 23, 2013
WASHINGTON - An Annapolis lawyer who has long represented unions tried to assure Senate Republicans on Tuesday that she could serve as an impartial member of the National Labor Relations Board. Nancy Jean Schiffer and another attorney are President Barack Obama's latest picks to fill the long understaffed board that hears disputes between workers and management. Obama nominated Schiffer and Attorney Kent Y. Hirozawa last week as part of the deal that ended a GOP filibuster threat and cleared the way for the Senate confirmation of Marylander Thomas E. Perez as labor secretary.
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