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A major supporter of the National Security Agency’s anti-terrorism surveillance program, which allows the bulk collection of Americans’ phone records, is pushing for an extension of the program, setting up a battle with critics who argue that Congress must fix the current law or let it expire.

"This has been a very important part of our effort to defend the homeland since 9/11," Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell said Sunday while defending the program in an interview on ABC's “This Week.” "We know that the terrorists overseas are trying to recruit people in our country to commit atrocities in our country."

McConnell, R-Ky., introduced a bill Thursday night that would temporarily renew the expiring provisions of the Patriot Act for two months.

The...

JERUSALEM, Israel -- After weeks of waiting, Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu succeeded in forming the nation's 34th government, which met for the first time Friday morning after being sworn in Thursday evening.

It's time to "get to work," Netanyahu told the new cabinet.

"Despite all the ups-and-downs we had to go through to reach this moment, I am still moved by the position and I am certain that you are too," he began. "From this moment on we must leave disagreements outside this room and focus on good work for the citizens of Israel -- all citizens of Israel."

With regard to the security situation Israel faces everyday, both within and without the...

WASHINGTON -- A bill to protect unborn babies older than 20 weeks has passed its first hurdle.

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the Pain-Capable Unborn Child Protection Act Wednesday evening, 242 to 184. Almost every Republican voted for it and almost every Democrat against it.

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, trumpeted the act as being quite consequential.

"H.R. 36 is the most pro-life legislation ever to come before this body," the top Republican said of the bill.

During heated debate before the vote, Democrats and Republicans took up familiar positions.

Many Democrats said they had to protect America's women...

The Senate's top investigative committee has launched an inquiry into the system that's supposed to ensure ObamaCare tax credits go to the right customers for the right amounts -- amid concerns that many Americans are getting inflated or improper subsidies. 

Sen. Rob Portman, R-Ohio, who is leading the investigation, says because of the confusion with the system, millions of Americans are learning after the fact they inadvertently got too much money and now owe the IRS hundreds. 

"I'm concerned that the subsidy eligibility process is so complicated that many consumers believed they were receiving cheaper insurance coverage than they ultimately got," Portman said in a statement. 

Portman, chairman of the Senate Permanent Subcommittee on...

The Senate is calling on President Barack Obama to secure the release of American Pastor Saeed Abedini and other Americans held by the regime.
    
The congressional body has unanimously passed a resolution to that effect Monday.
    
Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., said Abedini was imprisoned simply for trying to start an orphanage. He also described the abuse the pastor has suffered in prison.
    
Speaking from the Senate floor, McConnell said Saeed has been "beaten, denied access to medical care and locked away in solitary confinement."

"That's apparently how the regime deals with those who dare to...

Are the alarm bells finally blaring at the White House and in Congress? They should be. The recent pitiful economic growth score card of 0.2 percent economic growth for the first quarter of this year means the Obama slow-growth machine trudges onward.

It's the slowest recovery in half a century. The Summer of Recovery Joe Biden promised back in 2009 still hasn't arrived six years later.

This is a national crisis, not any less significant than last week's burning of Baltimore. Actually, the two may be tied together. Economist Arthur Laffer shows that racial rioting in big cities is negatively associated with the economic growth rate. In the late 1960s and 1970s cities became war zones,...

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell set a test vote for Thursday on stalled bipartisan legislation to let Congress review and possibly reject any agreement the Obama administration makes to ease sanctions on Iran in exchange for concessions on nuclear research and development.

The bill has been on the Senate floor off and on for more than two weeks.

It has been stalled since Republican Sens. Marco Rubio of Florida and Tom Cotton of Arkansas proposed politically attractive changes that drew the objections of Democrats as well as some Republicans who want the bill kept free of controversial provisions that could prompt the White House to withdraw its support.

A 60-vote majority on Thursday's test vote would likely jettison both proposals, and...

The Democratic National Committee will host six presidential primary debates, giving long-shot candidates a chance to challenge front-runner Hillary Rodham Clinton. 

The DNC says each of the four states that hold an early primary or caucus will host a debate: Iowa, New Hampshire, Nevada and South Carolina. The location of the other two debates was not announced. 

The first debate will take place this fall. 

It's unclear how many candidates will be on the stage. Clinton is seen as the clear front-runner for the Democratic nomination and looks to have few primary challengers. 

Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders announced last week that he would seek the Democratic nomination. Former Maryland Gov. Martin O'Malley is also expected to...

The Supreme Court has heard arguments for and against gay marriage, and a decision is expected by the end of June.

The High Court will decide if the 14th Amendment can require all states to allow same sex marriage. It will also decide if the amendment can require states to recognize same-sex marriages from other states.

"Only three states have actually voted for same same-sex marriage," Mike McManus, head of Marriage Savers, a ministry to strengthen the institution of marriage in America, said.

"Eight other legislatures have voted for it, but we have it in 37 states because the courts have imposed it in 26 additional states," he continued. "It seems to me it should be up to each state to...

State Department officials began allowing the Clinton Foundation to review emails the government planned to release to Congress and Freedom of Information Act requesters in January 2014, prompting a process that has delayed the publication of agency records for months, according to the group pursuing the records.

Many of the emails Clinton Foundation officials were permitted to review discussed the charity's work, as well as the hundreds of ethics reviews that former President Clinton faced as a result of his paid-speaking engagements around the world while his wife, Hillary Clinton, was secretary of state.

"On top of the obstruction that is in no small measure criminal in nature — with the hiding, removal and destruction of records by Mrs. Clinton — they are...

Supreme Court justices appeared sharply divided Tuesday as historic arguments on gay marriage ended, with one pivotal justice asking tough questions of both sides. 

Justice Anthony Kennedy, who often is seen as the swing vote, said gay marriage has been debated for only a decade and wondered aloud whether scholars and the public need more time. He said marriage has been understood as one man and one woman for “millennia-plus time.” 

"It's very difficult for the court to say `We know better,"' Kennedy told Mary Bonauto, a lawyer representing same-sex couples. 

Kennedy, in the course of arguments, posed skeptical questions of both sides, only adding to the uncertainty over how the Supreme Court may rule in this landmark case. He also pressed...

The Supreme Court on Tuesday will hear arguments in highly anticipated cases about the right of same-sex couples to marry.

Just two years ago, the high court struck down part of the federal law that denied a range of government benefits to legally married same-sex couples.

The 2013 United States v. Windsor decision did not address the validity of state marriage bans. But lower courts judges across the country, with few exceptions, said the ruling compelled them to invalidate state laws that prohibited gay and lesbian couples from marrying.

The number of states allowing same-sex marriage has grown rapidly.

As recently as October, just over one-third of the states permitted same-sex marriage. Now, same-sex couples can marry in 36 states and the...

Secretary of State John Kerry is urging congressional opponents of the emerging nuclear deal with Iran to "hold their fire" until they see a final agreement in two months.

"The whole purpose of the sanctions was to have a negotiation; now we're having that negotiation and I think we've earned the right through what we've achieved in the interim agreement," Kerry said.

Since reaching a framework agreement on April 2, the Obama administration has repeatedly urged the Senate to refrain from voting on legislation requiring congressional approval to lift sanctions against Iran. The president promised to veto any such bill.

Meanwhile, Kerry said he will brief lawmakers...

President Obama admitted Tuesday in a broadcast interview that his nuclear agreement with Iran only delays Tehran from eventually acquiring a weapon, which could come immediately after Year 13 of the agreement -- leaving the problem for future presidents.

Obama made the comments about Tehran's so-called "breakout time" in an interview with NPR News that aired Tuesday morning. The president was attempting to answer the charge that the deal framework agreed upon by the U.S., Iran, and five other nations last week fails to eliminate the risk of Iran getting a nuclear weapon because it allows Tehran to keep enriching uranium.

Obama said that Iran would be capped for a decade at 300 kilograms of uranium -- not enough to convert to a stockpile of weapons-grade...

A chaplain in trouble with the Navy for his Bible-based views is getting some help from on high.

Lt. Commander Wes Modder, a chaplain at the Naval Nuclear Power Training Command in Goose Creek, South Carolina, is waiting for a potentially career-crushing decision from military officials.

According to The Christian Post, Modder faces possible discharge and the loss of his military retirment.

Modder's lawyer said several sailors complained about what the former Navy SEALs chaplain to the  told them in private counseling sessions.

His alleged misdeeds include saying that homosexuality was wrong and premarital sex was shameful.

Those...

Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Friday blasted the framework nuclear deal with Iran, saying it would pose a "grave danger" to the region and "threaten the very survival" of his country. 

The Israeli leader, speaking after a meeting with his top advisers, announced his Cabinet is united in "strongly opposing" the agreement outlined Thursday in Switzerland at the close of the latest marathon round of nuclear talks. 

In his most detailed comments yet on the announced plan, Netanyahu said it would not shut down a single nuclear facility or destroy a single centrifuge. 

"The deal would legitimize Iran's illegal nuclear program," Netanyahu said. "It would leave Iran with a vast nuclear infrastructure." 

The remarks make...

JERUSALEM — John Boehner thinks the “world is on fire.” And America isn’t doing nearly enough to stamp it out.

The House speaker’s decision to invite Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu to speak before Congress last month sparked criticism that Boehner was inappropriately injecting himself into foreign affairs and antagonizing President Barack Obama. But just hours after a friendly return visit with Netanyahu on Wednesday, Boehner made clear in an interview with POLITICO here he’s not backing down and will remain firmly engaged in the nation’s foreign policy.

“I...

Here’s what will happen before mid-November 2016 …

Major League Baseball will award two World Series crowns. The NBA will bestow two titles. The NHL will present the Stanley Cup twice. Both political parties will have held their conventions and tapped their respective nominees. And voters will choose the next president.

Only then, sometime in mid-November 2016, will the Senate Democratic Caucus gather to select its new leadership team.

A lot can happen between now and then. But even so, it appears that Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., is poised to succeed retiring Senate Minority Leader Harry...

A leading Republican critic of the Iranian nuclear talks is calling on the U.S. to "walk away" from the table after negotiators missed a key deadline, while other lawmakers joined in voicing concern that Iran could extract critical final-hour concessions in the scramble to salvage an agreement. 

Negotiations resumed in Switzerland on Wednesday but were almost immediately beset by competing claims, just hours after diplomats abandoned a March 31 deadline to reach the outline of a deal and agreed to press on. And as the latest round hit the week mark, three of the six foreign ministers involved left the talks with prospects for agreement remaining uncertain. 

Amid the confusion, Sen. Tom Cotton, R-Ark., told Fox News he's concerned the framework of a...

Today the six world powers in nuclear negotiations with Iran say talks have entered a new phase.

The deadline for the nuclear negotiations was originally Tuesday, but no deal has been reached. Officials say this new phase is aimed at reaching a comprehensive accord by the end of June.

The talks have been extended twice since November.

Officials say differences remain on how long Iran must limit nuclear research, where stockpiles of enriched uranium should be stored and the timing and scope of sanctions relief.

Critics say the deal under consideration would keep Tehran's nuclear technology intact, allowing the hardline Islamic regime to...