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Senate

Transportation Nation

Senators to White House with Energy Agenda Unclear

Tuesday, June 29, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation)  Nearly a quarter of the United States Senate is expected at the White House this morning to meet with President Obama on energy and climate legislation, though the form that legislation will take--and whether it will have the votes to pass--is very much in doubt.

Twenty-three senators from both parties, as well as Independents, are due to meet with Obama shortly before 11 AM. While broad energy legislation is the main topic, the fate of global warming legislation in the form of carbon regulation hangs in the balance. That balance may include no direct attempts to control carbon emissions in the transportation sector.

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The Takeaway

Robert Byrd's Passing and the Elena Kagan Confirmation Hearings

Monday, June 28, 2010

Senate confirmation hearings for Supreme Court nominee Elena Kagan begin today. But this news was overshadowed by the death this morning of Sen. Robert Byrd. 

Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich looks at the record of Sen. Byrd and previews the Kagan hearings, along with Jamal Greene, associate professor of law at Columbia Law School and former law clerk for Justice Stevens.

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Transportation Nation

Senate May Drop Key Tax Credit For Biodiesel Industry

Thursday, June 24, 2010

(Washington, DC - Todd Zwillich, Transportation Nation)  The nation's truckers aren’t likely to start pumping biodiesel any time soon, by the looks of the United States Senate.  That’s because the resurrection of a big biodiesel tax credit is poised to fall victim to a larger tax and jobs bill, which failed tonight on the Senate floor.

The credit is worth $868 million over ten years to refiners who blend biofuel from soybeans, animal fats, restaurant waste oil and other sources into traditional, petroleum-based diesel.  Refiners get a one-dollar tax credit for every gallon they blend, and the savings generally go to making biodiesel more competitive with standard diesel at the pump.

Congress has extended the credit for the last few years, and it still enjoys strong support from both parties. But partisan disagreement over a broader package of tax provisions and unemployment benefits ended the credit.  At least for the time being.

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The Takeaway

Rundown: Tuesday Primary Elections

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

Voters in Utah, South Carolina, and North Carolina will head to the polls for a few final runoffs and primary elections. In Utah, incumbent, three-term Senator Bob Bennett was knocked out at the Utah GOP convention in May, and now two Tea Party candidates will face off against each other.

The Tea Party also looms large in the runoff for the Republican gubernatorial primary in South Carolina. There, Tea Party favorite and Sarah Palin pal Nikki Haley is leading over opponent Gresham Barrett, despite accusations of sex scandals and racial controversies. If elected, Haley, a Punjabi Sikh who converted to Methodism, would be South Carolina's first governor who isn't a white man.

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The Takeaway

Primaries Measure Voter Frustrations Across the Country

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Yesterday was the biggest primary day of the year so far, with closely watched races in California, Arkansas, South Carolina, New Jersey, Iowa, and Maine, among other states. The coast-to-coast campaigns for governors, Senate and House seats showed the strength of the Tea Party as well as the well-known power of money.

We take a closer look at races across the country. In California, Carly Fiorina beat out Congressman Tom Campbell for the Republican nomination and will now face Senator Barbara Boxer in the fall. A GOP victory would mark the first time California has sent a Republican to the Senate since 1988. In that state's governor's race, former eBay CEO Meg Whitman secured the Republican nomination and will go on to challenge Democrat Jerry Brown in the fall.

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The Takeaway

Primary Candidates Brace for November Election

Wednesday, June 09, 2010

Last night, voters decided the party candidates in four closely watched states: Arkansas, California, Nevada, and South Carolina and seven others. But for many candidates the election battle is only just beginning. Takeaway Washington correspondent Todd Zwillich looks at how the primary winners will fare in November's ballot. Sharron Angle's win in Nevada is both a victory for the Tea Party and for Harry Reid, who has been preparing to face-off against the conservative candidate.

Primaries have wrapped in 12 states across the country 
And joining us now is Takeaway Washington Correspondent Todd Zwillich to read the tea leaves of what last night’s elections could predict for November’s mid term bouts.

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The Takeaway

Election Preview: Local Primaries Get Tea Party Push

Tuesday, June 08, 2010

Today's primaries may feel local, but they are getting a national push. Sarah Palin visited South Carolina on behalf of gubernatorial candidate, Nikki Haley. Palin's appearance catapulted the candidate to the head of the polls. Nevada's Senate primary is also a Tea Party election, according to Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich. There, Tea Party candidate Sharron Angle seems positioned to win the primary, which will pit her against Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid. This bodes well for Reid as Tea Party candidates have a hard time winning national elections.

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The Takeaway

Gay Service Members on 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

Friday, May 28, 2010

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 16-12 on Thursday evening to allow the Pentagon to repeal Don't Ask, Don't Tell - the law that forbids gay, lesbian and bisexual servicemen and women from serving openly.

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The Takeaway

Financial Overhaul Passes the Senate

Friday, May 21, 2010

After months of debate and attacks from both sides of the aisle, the Senate passed a financial regulatory bill by a 59-39 vote, Thursday. The biggest change in the bill is the creation of an agency whose sole job is to monitor fairness of any product that is bought by the consumer. Next, the Senate and House versions of financial reform have to be reconciled and combined before heading to the president's desk, perhaps as early as the Fourth of July.

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WQXR News

Kagan Confirmation Hearings Set

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

The Senate will begin its Judiciary Committee Supreme Court Justice confirmation hearings for U.S. Solicitor General Elena Kagan on June 28.

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The Takeaway

Conn. Attorney General Richard Blumenthal's Vietnam Stories

Tuesday, May 18, 2010

Richard Blumenthal, a Democrat now running for the United States Senate, has spoken at different military gatherings about his time in Vietnam. However, The New York Times dug into his stories and found that he never actually served in that war. Raymond Hernandez broke the story for The New York Times and details his investigation.

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WQXR News

City Hall Opens Ceremonies to Gay Partners

Monday, May 17, 2010

Gay couples who register as domestic partners will now be able to have full-fledged ceremonies at City Hall.

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The Takeaway

Kagan Faces Scrutiny from Right and Left

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

It's only been a day since President Barack Obama nominated Elena Kagan to succeed retiring Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens, but political forces on both sides of the aisle have already begun to scrutinize the nominee. Takeaway Washington correspondent, Todd Zwillich explains what we can expect to hear from both sides as the confirmation hearings get underway and helps detangle the legitimate concerns from the political rhetoric.

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The Takeaway

Congress to Address 'Flash Crash,' Financial Reform

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Congress will face public pressure this week as it tackles a series of hot-button issues. In the House, the Financial Services Committee has called for a hearing on the "flash crash" that took place last Thursday when the Dow Jones Industrial Average fell nearly 1,000 points in just 30 minutes. And Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is hoping to get the financial reform bill complete by the end of the week.

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WQXR News

Senate Questions Oil Heads on Gulf Spill

Tuesday, May 11, 2010

Congress will hear testimony from the companies responsible for the Deepwater Horizon rig blowout.

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The Takeaway

Senators Grill Goldman Execs

Wednesday, April 28, 2010

Goldman Sachs's top executives, including CEO Lloyd Blankfein and Vice President Fabrice Tourre, visited Capitol Hill yesterday for a good old-fashioned grilling during a U.S. Senate committee hearing. New York Times financial reporter Louise Story was there and followed the hearings all day long. She found more than a few contradictions in the executives' testimony, as the senators on the panel grew more and more testy.

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WQXR News

Federal Authorities Raid Espada's Nonprofit

Wednesday, April 21, 2010

The raid comes a day after Attorney General Cuomo accused Espada, Jr. of siphoning $14 million from his nonprofit.

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The Takeaway

Looking for the Next Justice

Monday, April 12, 2010

Justice John Paul Stevens announced on Friday that he will retire this June, after spending 35 years on the bench. Democrats say they want to move quickly into the nomination process in order to have the next justice confirmed by the end of the summer.

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WQXR News

Bunning Relents on Benetfits Bill

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Senator Jim Bunning, Republican of Kentucky, has decided to lift his opposition to a bill that would extend unemployment benefits and fund highway projects.

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WQXR News

No NY Senate Run for Ford

Tuesday, March 02, 2010

Former Tennessee Congressman Harold Ford Jr. says he won't challenge New York Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand for her Senate seat.

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