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Editorial Results (free)

1. House to take up bill to keep highway aid flowing to states -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Faced with the prospect of a shutdown in highway and transit aid to states, the House is due to take up a bill to temporarily shore up funding for transportation programs for the 35th time since 2009.

2. The Latest: Scalia calls health care overhaul: 'SCOTUScare' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Supreme Court's decision on President Barack Obama's health care overhaul.

11:10 p.m.

The Supreme Court's decision affirming a major part of the health care law has at least one upside for the law's Republican opponents.

3. Top commercial real estate transactions for April 2015 -

Top commercial real estate transactions, April 2015, for Davidson, Williamson, Rutherford, Wilson and Sumner counties, as compiled by Chandler Reports.

4. Balancing act for House Democratic Leader Pelosi on trade -

WASHINGTON (AP) — As House Speaker, Nancy Pelosi delivered the signature achievement of President Barack Obama's first term: his health care bill. Now Obama's top second-term goal, a major trade deal, hangs in the balance on Capitol Hill and Pelosi is again on the spot.

5. Senate GOP leader McConnell: Let's move ahead on trade bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Republican on Tuesday pleaded with lawmakers to move ahead on a trade bill that has the strong backing of President Barack Obama but faces fierce opposition from several rebellious Democrats.

6. Emotions over Obama's trade agenda roil Senate, delay action -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Emotional disagreements over trade erupted in Congress on Wednesday, when a liberal senator delayed a committee's likely endorsement of a top trade priority for President Barack Obama.

7. This year's fight for the tech industry: Patent trolls -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The same week that Alex Haro and Chris Hulls raised $50 million for their mobile app, Life360, the business partners got a letter. It said they had three days to pay licensing fees to a company they had never heard of because their app violated its patented technology.

8. Obama ready to sign bill revamping Medicare doctor fees -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama said Wednesday he's ready to sign "good, bipartisan" legislation protecting physicians from steep cuts in Medicare reimbursements and bolstering health programs for children and the poor as Senate Democrats seemed to soften their opposition to the package.

9. In rare deal, Boehner, Pelosi tout wins for seniors, doctors -

WASHINGTON (AP) — An extraordinary bipartisan accord between House Speaker John Boehner and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi is letting both parties exhale as they move toward ending the nagging annual threat of Medicare cuts to physicians. Yet each side is bragging about far more than that.

10. On 5th anniversary of health care law, no end to debate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama signed the Affordable Care Act five years ago, he visualized a time when the political hyperbole would be silenced and ordinary people would see that the health care law improved their lives.

11. House Medicare deal hits Senate turbulence over abortion -

WASHINGTON (AP) — An emerging bipartisan House deal changing how Medicare reimburses doctors ran into turbulence in the Senate Thursday over abortion, spotlighting a rare public disagreement between Congress' two top Democrats.

12. GOP may need House Dems to help resolve DHS funding impasse -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For all the talk of Republican House Speaker John Boehner being trapped by the quarrel over funding the Homeland Security Department, he holds a potential escape key, if he's willing to use it: cooperative Democrats.

13. Bipartisan deal sets up Homeland Security vote in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Three days before a partial Homeland Security shutdown, lawmakers cleared the way Wednesday for Senate passage of legislation to fund the agency without immigration-related provisions opposed by President Barack Obama.

14. In a bind, Republicans offer vote on Homeland Security bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A partial agency shutdown looming, Senate Republicans offered on Tuesday to permit a vote on Homeland Security funding legislation stripped of immigration provisions backed by conservatives but strongly opposed by President Barack Obama and fellow Democrats.

15. Frustrated Republicans taste limits of majority control -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A month into their newfound control of both chambers of Congress, it wasn't supposed to be like this for Republicans. Instead of advancing a conservative agenda and showing voters they can govern, they are confronting the very real possibility of a shutdown of the Homeland Security Department later this month.

16. Keystone veto: Can Obama, GOP compromise on anything? -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A looming veto by President Barack Obama of a Republican-championed bill foreshadows a key question for the White House: whether the president and Republicans can find areas to work together, even as Obama strikes down many of their top priorities.

17. Divisions emerge among House GOP under pressure to govern -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The most conservative lawmakers in the House Republican majority have gotten their way a lot in recent years. That may be starting to change.

A group of more pragmatic lawmakers defected on an immigration vote last week, and this week forced GOP leaders to water down abortion legislation. With the new, fully Republican-led Congress three weeks old, they are serving notice they will no longer keep quiet as their more ideological colleagues push legislation to the right, demand votes on social issues, or court government shutdowns to try to block President Barack Obama.

18. US, Cuba patch torn relations in historic accord -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama abruptly announced the U.S. is re-establishing long-broken diplomatic relations with Cuba on Wednesday, declaring an end to America's "outdated approach" to the communist island in a historic shift aimed at ending a half-century of Cold War enmity.

19. Senate may confirm up to 88 federal judges -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Impeded no more by Republican blocking tactics, Democrats are on track to win confirmation of up to 88 of President Barack Obama's top judicial nominations this year, a total that would be the highest for any president in two decades.

20. Senate to take up $1.1T bill to keep govt running -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A battle between the Senate's old school veterans and new-breed freshmen such as tea partier Ted Cruz and liberal Elizabeth Warren is taking shape Friday as leaders push for passage of a $1.1 trillion spending bill needed to keep the government running.

21. Spending bill teeters amid Democratic discontent -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Growing opposition among Democrats and persistent opposition from the tea party Republicans has left a $1.1 trillion government-wide spending bill teetering as many lawmakers find more in the measure to dislike than like.

22. Liberals and conservatives gripe about $1.1T bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Exposed to the light of day, a year-end, $1.1 trillion spending bill drew vociferous objections from liberals and milder criticism from conservatives on Wednesday while lawmakers readied a brief, stopgap measure to prevent a government shutdown both parties vowed to avoid.

23. Time runs short for $1.1 trillion spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time running short, Republicans and Democrats reached for elusive agreement Tuesday on a $1.1 trillion spending bill to avoid a government shutdown and delay a politically-charged struggle over President Barack Obama's new immigration policy until the new year.

24. Bipartisan bill to widen federal help for disabled -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is poised to allow Americans with disabilities to open tax-sheltered bank accounts to pay for certain long-term expenses — the broadest legislation to help the disabled in nearly a quarter-century.

25. House plans to extend tax breaks through December -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House is moving Wednesday to extend a massive package of expired tax breaks through the end of the year, adding about $42 billion to the budget deficit over the next decade.

26. White House veto threat shelves possible tax plan -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A White House veto threat appears to have put on ice a congressional effort to permanently renew a handful of generous tax breaks for businesses and individuals. Officials say that the plan, brewing behind closed doors on Capitol Hill, favored corporations over the working class.

27. Obama sets off on a sales mission on immigration -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and his allies, confronting a buildup of GOP criticism, are seeking to sell the president's executive actions on immigration as good politics and good policy.

28. Obama nominees face lame duck obstacles in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — So many nominees, so little time.

President Barack Obama and his allies have a parade of people they'd like the Senate to confirm for judgeships, ambassadorial posts and other top jobs during the dwindling days that Democrats will run the chamber.

29. For Obama, some relief in Democratic losses -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The morning after Democrats' thrashing in the midterm elections, President Barack Obama unexpectedly dropped by his senior staff's daily meeting to buck up his exhausted and defeated team.

30. Alexander sheds feel-good image in Senate race -

NASHVILLE (AP) — Forget the syrupy, feel-good message so common to Lamar Alexander's past political campaigns. This time, the Tennessee Republican is going into attack mode.

With early voting in the U.S. Senate race set to kick off next week, the two-term incumbent has unleashed two television ads hammering his previously little-known Democratic opponent, Gordon Ball, as a proxy for President Barack Obama and as a "slick-talking personal injury lawyer."

31. Tesla Motors dealing as states play factory poker -

LOS ANGELES (AP) — From the start, little has been typical about Tesla Motors' plan for a $5 billion factory to make batteries for a new generation of electric cars.

It's not just the project's massive scale, the cutting-edge technology, or even the bonanza of 6,500 good-paying jobs.

32. GOP blocks tax hike on firms moving overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Republican senators blocked an election-year bill Wednesday to limit tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas.

The bill would have prohibited companies from deducting expenses related to moving their operations to a foreign country. It also would have offered tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

33. Senate likely to come up short on border bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A bill to deal with the immigration surge at the border appears headed for procedural defeat in the Senate as lawmakers trade blame over their inaction on the crisis.

Days ahead of Congress' five-week summer recess, Senate Democrats' $3.5 billion emergency spending bill designed to help deal with tens of thousands of young migrants crossing the border illegally has yet to draw the necessary support to move forward. A vote in the Senate was expected Wednesday.

34. Senate to vote on highway money as deadline looms -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is set to take up legislation to keep federal highway money flowing to states, with just three days left before the government plans to start slowing down payments.

The House passed a $10.8 billion bill last week that would pay for highway and transit aid through the end of May 2015 if transportation spending is maintained at current levels. Under a schedule outlined by Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., the Senate would take up that bill Tuesday afternoon.

35. Senate bill targets companies that move overseas -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate voted Wednesday to advance an election-year bill limiting tax breaks for U.S. companies that move operations overseas. But big hurdles remain.

The Senate voted 93-7 to begin debating the bill, which would prevent companies from deducting expenses related to moving operations to a foreign country. The bill would offer tax credits to companies that move operations to the U.S. from a foreign country.

36. Lawmakers face long to-do list, uncertain success -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A gridlocked Congress failed to do the big things: overhauling the nation's immigration system, reforming the loophole-cluttered tax code and stiffening background checks on gun buyers. Now it's time to see whether it can just do the basics.

37. High court rebukes Obama on recess appointments -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Supreme Court on Thursday limited the president's power to fill high-level vacancies with temporary appointments, ruling in favor of Senate Republicans in their partisan clash with President Barack Obama.

38. Senate Democrats scuttle a vote on spending bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Apparently fearing that the top Senate Republican might score a political win, Democrats for the second time in a week cancelled a preliminary vote on a major spending bill.

At issue was an amendment by Senate GOP leader Mitch McConnell that would have allowed the Kentucky Republican and Appropriations panel member to successfully go to bat for his state's coal industry as the spending panel was to consider on Thursday a measure funding the Energy Department and other agencies.

39. Senate to consider massive spending bill – maybe -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A massive spending bill to fund five Cabinet departments for the upcoming budget year is about to hit the Senate floor, giving senators a rare opportunity for open debate on legislation of any kind.

40. Senate moves toward vote on VA health care -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate is moving forward on a compromise bill to help veterans avoid long waits to see a doctor and make it easier to fire administrators who falsify records to cover up long wait times.

41. Reid opposes Obama court pick -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, one of the Obama administration's staunchest allies in Congress, announced his opposition Thursday to Michael Boggs' nomination to the federal bench, dealing a strong if not fatal blow to the former Georgia state lawmaker's confirmation hopes.

42. Senate votes to open debate on renewing tax breaks -

WASHINGTON (AP) —?? A bill to renew a package of more than 50 expired tax breaks cleared its first hurdle in the Senate Tuesday.

Other hurdles remain, however.

The Senate voted 96 to 3 to open debate on the bill, which has strong backing from the business community but would add about $85 billion to the budget deficit.

43. Pipeline, energy bill backers vow to keep up fight -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Supporters of a popular energy savings bill and the controversial Keystone XL oil pipeline say they will keep trying to force Senate action on the measures, even after they were defeated amid partisan gridlock in the Senate.

44. Energy bill caught up in Keystone XL dispute -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Days after President Barack Obama touted executive actions aimed at increasing energy efficiency, a bill with similar goals is expected to fall victim to partisan gridlock in the Senate.

45. Senate GOP blocks Dems' minimum wage boost -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans blocked an election-year Democratic bill on Wednesday that would boost the federal minimum wage, handing a defeat to President Barack Obama on a vote that is sure to reverberate in this year's congressional elections.

46. Congress returns to work to do the bare minimum -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress gets back to work Monday after a two-week vacation, and it's looking like lawmakers will do what they do best: the bare minimum.

Forget immigration, a tax overhaul, stiffer gun checks. They're all DOA.

47. GOP derails gender pay gap bill in Senate -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans derailed a Democratic bill Wednesday curbing paycheck discrimination against women, an effort that even in defeat Democrats hoped would pay political dividends in this fall's congressional elections.

48. GOP seeks expansion of choices in health law it hates -

WASHINGTON (AP) — At the prodding of business organizations, House Republicans quietly secured a recent change in President Barack Obama's health law to expand coverage choices, a striking, one-of-a-kind departure from dozens of high-decibel attempts to repeal or dismember it.

49. Senate jobless benefits bill advances slowly -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Legislation to resurrect benefits for the long-term unemployed took an essential step Wednesday toward likely Senate approval, despite complaints from Republicans that Democrats refuse to allow changes designed to stimulate job creation.

50. House approves bill to stop cut to Medicare docs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House on Thursday passed legislation to give doctors a yearlong reprieve from a looming 24 percent cut in their payments from Medicare.

The bill passed on a surprise voice vote and advanced to the Senate, which hopes to pass it before a Monday deadline. The vote was delayed by an hour amid doubt that the measure could muster the two-thirds vote required under fast-track procedures.

51. House finalizing bill to stop cut to Medicare docs -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Doctors who treat Medicare patients would get a last-minute reprieve from a scheduled 24 percent cut in their government reimbursements under a bill the House was considering Thursday.

52. Democrats clock all-nighter with climate talk -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Democratic senators clocked an all-nighter, working in shifts into Tuesday morning to warn of the devastation from climate change and the danger of inaction.

Addressing a nearly empty chamber and visitor gallery, more than two dozen speakers agreed with each other about the need to act on climate change. Naysayers — Republicans — largely stayed away, arguing hours earlier that regulation would cost Americans jobs in a sluggish economy.

53. House backs bill to block EPA power plant rule -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Republican-controlled House moved Thursday to block President Barack Obama's plan to limit carbon pollution from new power plants, an election-year strike at the White House aimed at portraying Obama as a job killer.

54. Obama criticizes Senate vote on civil rights pick -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Bipartisan Senate opposition blocked swift confirmation Wednesday for President Barack Obama's choice to head the Justice Department's Civil Rights division, the emotional residue of the long-ago murder of a Philadelphia policeman and the legal representation his killer received.

55. Senate blocks Dems' bill boosting vets' benefits -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A divided Senate on Thursday derailed Democratic legislation that would have provided $21 billion for medical, education and job-training benefits for the nation's veterans. The bill fell victim to election-year disputes over spending and fresh penalties against Iran.

56. Senate heads toward showdown vote on veterans bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Democratic bill enhancing health care, education and job-training benefits for veterans faces an uphill climb as the Senate approaches a showdown vote on the $21 billion legislation.

57. Vets benefits bill should win initial Senate vote -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate seemed ready Tuesday to vote preliminary approval of a sprawling Democratic bill expanding health, education and other benefits for veterans. But the election-year measure faced conservative opposition and an uncertain fate as Republicans try to make it smaller and find ways to pay for it.

58. GOP tax plan lowers rates, imposes surtax on rich -

WASHINGTON (AP) — An election-year plan by House Republicans to simplify the tax code would cut income tax rates but impose a new surtax on some high-income families.

The plan, which is to be unveiled Wednesday, would lower the top income tax rate from 39.6 percent to 25 percent, said a GOP aide who spoke on condition of anonymity. However, the plan would impose a new 10 percent surtax on some earned income above about $450,000.

59. Obama's N. American agenda hits congressional drag -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama headed into a summit Wednesday with Mexican and Canadian leaders eager to engage on issues of trade and other neighbor-to-neighbor interests, even as Congress is pushing back against some of his top cross-border agenda items.

60. Trade bills divide Obama, fellow Dems -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The White House says it will continue to press Congress for "fast track" authority to speed approval of trade deals even as election-year politics makes the task harder.

The Obama administration is engaged in two difficult trade negotiations, one with Japan and 10 other Pacific nations, and the other a proposed trans-Atlantic deal with European Union nations. The trans-Pacific talks are closer to completion.

61. Obama, fellow Dems are at odds on big trade bills -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama wants to put major emerging trade deals with Europe and Asia on a "fast track" to congressional passage. But with midterm elections looming, many fellow Democrats are working to sidetrack them instead.

62. Suspense in Senate: Debt vote shrouded in secrecy -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Financial markets were watching, the retirement accounts of millions of Americans on the line.

Nervous senators were watching too, well aware that political fortunes could be on the line.

63. From immigration to trade, inaction in Congress -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Little more than a week after Groundhog Day, the evidence is mounting that lawmakers have all but wrapped up their most consequential work of 2014, at least until the results of the fall elections are known.

64. Analysis: Washington gridlock at a crossroads -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama and Congress stand at a junction.

The road the country has been on for the past five years is now beginning to come to an end. The Federal Reserve, which pumped $3 trillion into the economy to keep the Great Recession from worsening, is withdrawing its financial lifeline amid signs of fresh economic growth. The nation's gross domestic product is inching up and annual federal budget deficits are heading down.

65. Speaker: Immigration measure will be tough to pass -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year, dimming prospects for one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

66. Speaker: Immigration measure will be tough to pass -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Speaker John Boehner said Thursday it will be difficult to pass immigration legislation this year, dimming prospects for one of President Barack Obama's top domestic priorities.

67. Obama, Dems meet as struggle for Senate builds -

WASHINGTON (AP) — When President Barack Obama solicits advice Wednesday from his party's senators, the voices of some Democrats may come through louder than others.

Of the 53 Democratic senators, it's the nearly two dozen facing re-election this year who are causing jitters for Obama and the party. With control of the Senate at stake, many of those Democrats are actively seeking ways to distance themselves from a president who is deeply unpopular in their home states.

68. New jobless benefit plan advanced -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid expressed optimism Thursday about chances for compromise on jobless legislation, and officials said talks were focused on a scaled-back program that is fully paid for and would provide up to 31 weeks of benefits for the long-term unemployed.

69. GOP seeks jobless bill changes to offset the cost -

WASHINGTON (AP) — One day after clearing a key Senate hurdle, legislation to renew long-term jobless benefits stood at a crossroads on Wednesday with gridlock beckoning from one direction and the prospect of compromise from the other.

70. Benefits debate is first volley of election year -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The struggle in Washington over whether to renew expired jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed is as much about providing aid to 1.3 million out-of-work Americans as it is about drawing the first political line of an election year.

71. Unemployment benefits bill clears hurdle -

WASHINGTON (AP) — White House-backed legislation to renew benefits for the long-term unemployed unexpectedly cleared an initial Senate hurdle on Tuesday, clearing the way for bipartisan negotiations in the opening days of an election-year session of Congress.

72. Fed chair, unemployment on tap as Congress returns -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Back to work on Monday, Congress faces a hefty list of unfinished business and a politically driven agenda in an election year that will determine control of the House and Senate.

73. Obama eyes modest momentum on Capitol Hill in 2014 -

WASHINGTON (AP) — President Barack Obama gets back to work this week eager to test whether a modest budget deal passed in the waning days of 2013 can spark bipartisan momentum on Capitol Hill. As he opens his sixth year in office, he also faces legacy-defining decisions on the future of government surveillance programs and the American-led war in Afghanistan.

74. Congress does little of consequence, except argue -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Call it a steady diet of gridlock, with "Green Eggs and Ham" on the side.

Congress did not pass White House-backed immigration or gun control legislation in 2013. Or raise the minimum wage. Or approve many other items on President Barack Obama's agenda.

75. Senate leader vows Jan. vote on jobless benefits -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate's top Democrat promised Thursday that the chamber would vote in early January on extending jobless benefits for the long-term unemployed.

More than 1 million people are set to be abruptly cut off of federal unemployment benefits averaging less than $300 a week nationwide just three days after Christmas. Another 1.9 million people would miss out on the benefits next year.

76. Reid hopes to speed Senate consideration on budget -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid says he'll meet with his Republican counterpart Mitch McConnell to discuss whether they can speed things up in the Senate and move on a budget agreement and a defense policy bill more quickly.

77. House weighs comprehensive defense bill -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The House pushed toward passage of a comprehensive defense policy bill on Thursday that would address sexual assault in the ranks, cover the cost of combat pay for the nation's war-fighters and fund new aircraft and ships.

78. House Republicans signal support for budget deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — House Republicans signaled support Wednesday for a budget deal worked out a day earlier, a plan narrowly drawn but promoted as a way to stabilize Congress' erratic fiscal efforts, avert another government shutdown and mute some of the partisan rancor that has damaged Americans' attitudes about their lawmakers.

79. Reid says Senate will not extend farm law -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Majority Leader Harry Reid says the Senate will not extend current farm law if Congress can't agree on a new farm bill before adjourning next week.

House leaders have reserved space on their agenda this week for extending the current law until the end of January. Lawmakers fear that milk prices might rise sharply if dairy subsidies expire Jan. 1.

80. Congress ready to extend ban on plastic firearms -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate vote to renew an expiring ban on plastic firearms capable of evading metal detectors and X-ray machines is shaping up as a bittersweet moment for gun control supporters, days before the anniversary of the deadly mass shooting at Sandy Hook Elementary School in Connecticut.

81. Fast-food protests return amid push for wage hikes -

NEW YORK (AP) — Fast-food workers and labor organizers marched, waved signs and chanted in cities across the country on Thursday in a push for higher wages.

Organizers say employees planned to forgo work in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But by late afternoon, it was unclear what the actual turnout was or how many of the participants were workers. At targeted restaurants, the disruptions seemed minimal or temporary.

82. Fast-food strikes return amid push for wage hikes -

NEW YORK (AP) — Fast-food workers and labor organizers are marching, waving signs and chanting in cities across the country Thursday amid a push for higher wages.

Organizers say walkouts are planned in 100 cities, with rallies set for another 100 cities. But it's not clear what the actual turnout will be, how many of the participants are workers and what impact they'll have on restaurant operations.

83. Obama pushes back against critics of Iran deal -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Pushing back hard, President Barack Obama forcefully defended the temporary agreement to freeze Iran's disputed nuclear program on Monday, declaring that the United States "cannot close the door on diplomacy."

84. Lawmakers look to sanctions if Iran deal falters -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Lawmakers are making contingency plans for what happens if — or when — the nuclear accord with Iran falls apart.

Congress is out of town through the end of the month, but lawmakers are already weighing their options for how to address the deal with Iran, in which Tehran agrees to a six-month pause in its nuclear program in exchange for eased sanctions worth $7 billion. Lawmakers from both parties are skeptical the agreement will prod Tehran to give up its nuclear ambitions and say they will be waiting with even harsher punishment if Iran proves an untrustworthy partner.

85. Defense bill caught in Congress' political divide -

WASHINGTON (AP) — For 51 years of war and peace, Republicans and Democrats rallied around a bill to pay the troops, buy ships and aircraft and set military policy.

Last week, the Senate couldn't even agree on votes.

86. Democrats vote to curb filibusters on appointees -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama's current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans' ability to block final votes.

87. Democrats vote to curb filibusters on appointees -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Democrats eased the way for swift approval of President Barack Obama's current and future nominees on Thursday, voting unilaterally to overturn decades of Senate precedent and undermine Republicans' ability to block final votes.

88. Latest federal Internet gambling bill proposes tax -

LAS VEGAS (AP) — If Congress makes no progress on a national framework for online gambling this session, it won't be for a lack of legislation.

Two lawmakers introduced bills over the summer that would legalize some form of Internet gambling nationwide. Last week, Rep. Jim McDermott, a Democrat from Washington, introduced a bill that would tax federally-sanctioned online wagering.

89. Policy cancellations: Obama will allow old plans -

WASHINGTON (AP) — His personal and political credibility on the line, President Barack Obama reversed course Thursday and said millions of Americans should be allowed to renew individual coverage plans now ticketed for cancellation under the health care law that is likely to be at the heart of the 2014 elections.

90. Senate OKs gay rights bill banning discrimination -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The Senate has approved a bill outlawing workplace discrimination against gay, bisexual and transgender Americans.

The vote reflected the nation's rapidly evolving attitude toward gay rights nearly two decades after Congress rejected same-sex marriage. The final tally was 64-32.

91. Senate blocks Obama picks for judge, housing posts -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate Republicans blocked President Barack Obama's nominees to lead an influential federal court and a housing agency on Thursday, despite Democratic warnings of a return to last summer's partisan brawl over who wields power in the Senate.

92. Food stamps, milk prices on table in farm talks -

MILWAUKEE (AP) — The fight over renewing the nation's farm bill has centered on cuts to the $80 billion-a-year food stamp program. But there could be unintended consequences if no agreement is reached: higher milk prices.

93. Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen -

WASHINGTON (AP) — On this, GOP budget guru Rep. Paul Ryan and top Senate Democrat Harry Reid can agree: There won't be a "grand bargain" on the budget.

Instead, the Wisconsin Republican and the Nevada Democrat both say the best Washington can do in this bitterly partisan era of divided government is a small-ball bargain that tries to take the edge off of automatic budget cuts known as sequestration.

94. No safe bets for Obama despite toned-down agenda -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Regrouping after a feud with Congress stalled his agenda, President Barack Obama is laying down a three-item to-do list for Congress that seems meager when compared with the bold, progressive agenda he envisioned at the start of his second term.

95. Shutdown over, Obama surveys damage and blames GOP -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, with President Barack Obama saluting the resolution of Congress' bitter standoff but lambasting Republicans for the partial shutdown that he said had damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.

96. Shutdown bill has items for states, fed agencies -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Here's a little secret about the bill Congress has approved ending the partial government shutdown and preventing a possible federal default: It's got goodies for some states and federal agencies too.

97. Government open again, Obama bemoans damage -

WASHINGTON (AP) — The government unlocked its doors Thursday after 16 days, with President Barack Obama saluting the resolution of Congress' bitter standoff but lambasting Republicans for the partial shutdown that he said had damaged the U.S. economy and America's credibility around the world.

98. Deal reached to avoid default and open government -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Senate leaders announced last-minute agreement Wednesday to avert a threatened Treasury default and reopen the government after a partial, 16-day shutdown. Congress raced to pass the measure by day's end.

99. New House GOP plan as debt-limit deadline nears -

WASHINGTON (AP) — Time growing desperately short, House Republicans pushed for passage of legislation late Tuesday to prevent a threatened Treasury default, end a 15-day partial government shutdown and extricate divided government from its latest brush with a full political meltdown.

100. Sen. Corker says parties need to be on 'same page' -

WASHINGTON (AP) — A Senate Republican says there's plenty of blame to go around for the partial government shutdown and specter of default.

Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee says he hopes Democrats and Republicans are "getting on the same page" and can find an agreement before Thursday's default deadline.