Senate

Sen. Rand Paul, R-Ky., had sharp words for Dr. Anthony Fauci, the nation's top infectious disease expert, during Tuesday's Senate committee hearing on the coronavirus.

In arguing for reopening the economy and schools, Paul said, "As much as I respect you, Dr. Fauci, I don't think you're the end-all. I don't think you're the one person who gets to make a decision."

Paul pointed to the mortality rate in New York City of young people up to age 18, which he said was near zero — much lower than for older people.

Updated at 1:54 p.m. ET

Though the coronavirus remains a serious threat in Washington, D.C., U.S. senators return to the Capitol from their home states on Monday, more than five weeks after their last formal gathering and roll call votes.

Sunscreen Ban Issue Heads To House Floor

Jan 31, 2020
Sunscreen being applied to child's face.
Wikimedia Commons

After the full Senate passed the issue Wednesday, a proposal that would block local governments from regulating over-the-counter drugs and cosmetics is headed to the House floor. 

A federal appeals court Friday cleared the way for a lawsuit that alleges the Florida House and Senate have violated the Americans with Disabilities Act by not providing closed captioning on online videos of legislative meetings.

After months of hearings and negotiations, millions of dollars in attack ads, full-court-press lobbying efforts and countless rounds of negotiations, Congress appears to be moving toward a solution to the nation's surprise medical bill problem. Sort of.

Surprise bills, the often-exorbitant medical bills that come when patients don't realize they've been seen by a provider outside their insurance network, have in recent months been viewed as public enemy No. 1 on Capitol Hill.

News Service of Florida

Religious, political and social beliefs are key to the debate over whether to require parental consent for abortions in Florida. After an initial stall, the Senate’s Health Policy Committee voted Tuesday along party lines to approve the measure. 

New House Democrats’ Focus On Abortion Rights Could Stymie Work With Senate

Jan 23, 2019
WMFE

For the first time since the Supreme Court legalized abortion nationwide in its 1973 Roe v. Wade decision, the House of Representatives has a majority supporting abortion rights. And that majority is already making its position felt, setting up what could be a series of long and drawn-out fights with a Senate opposed to abortion and stalling what could otherwise be bipartisan bills.

Senate Dems Lose Health Care Vote, Hope It's Campaign Fodder

Oct 11, 2018
Wikimedia Commons

Days after ending a turbulent Supreme Court confirmation fight, the Senate turned back to health care — with a battle squarely aimed at coloring next month's crucial elections for control of Congress.

The Senate approved an $854 billion measure Thursday that funds much of the government, including $675 billion for the Defense Department.

The bill combines military spending with disbursements for Health and Human Services, Education, Labor and other agencies.

The bill was approved, 85-7, and now heads to the House.

After hours of intense debate on a school-safety measure, Senate Democrats were unable Saturday to strip a controversial provision that would allow specially trained teachers to bring guns to schools or to add an assault-weapons ban demanded by survivors of last month’s mass shooting at a Broward County high school.

Florida Senators have teed up a change to the state’s death penalty rules now heading to the chamber floor. It comes two years after a U.S. Supreme Court ruling declaring the previous system unconstitutional.

Jubilant Republicans pushed on early Wednesday to the verge of the most sweeping rewrite of the nation's tax laws in more than three decades, a deeply unpopular bill they insist Americans will learn to love when they see their paychecks in the new year. President Donald Trump cheered the lawmakers on, eager to claim his first major legislative victory.

After midnight, the Senate narrowly passed t

Wikimedia Commons

Republicans muscled the largest tax overhaul in 30 years through the Senate early Saturday, taking a big step toward giving President Donald Trump his first major legislative triumph after months of false starts and frustration on other fronts that included health care reform.

Wikimedia Commons

Republican leaders pushed toward a Senate vote next Tuesday on resurrecting their nearly flat-lined health care bill. Their uphill drive was further complicated by the ailing GOP Sen. John McCain's potential absence and a dreary report envisioning that the number of uninsured Americans would soar.

President Donald Trump is pressuring wavering senators to back a Republican bill to repeal and replace former President Barack Obama's health care law but is holding open a repeal-only option if Republicans can't reach agreement over the July 4 recess, Trump's top legislative aide says.

Updated at 2:32 p.m. ET

Senate Republicans unveiled their long-awaited health care overhaul proposal on Thursday. The Senate bill, called the "Better Care Reconciliation Act," would repeal major parts of the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare. The broad outlines of it look a lot like the House bill, the American Health Care Act, which was passed in May.

Senate Republicans would cut Medicaid, end penalties for people not buying insurance and erase a raft of tax increases as part of their long-awaited plan to scuttle President Barack Obama's health care law, congressional aides and lobbyists say.

The Republican effort to overhaul the Affordable Care Act, or Obamacare, has led to a standoff in the Senate.

Senate Democrats on Monday night began using parliamentary maneuvers to slow Senate business as part of a coordinated protest against the GOP push to pass an Obamacare replacement bill. A small group of Republican senators has been working in private for weeks, shielding from public view the bill and the negotiations surrounding it.

Republicans are running way behind schedule.

In the dream scenario outlined by party leaders back in January, President Trump would have signed legislation to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act, also known as Obamacare, months ago. By early June, Republicans were supposed to be in the thick of overhauling the tax code.

WQCS

Legislation making its way on Capitol Hill could help Florida communities hit by toxic algae blooms.

The Senate is negotiating its own legislation to repeal and replace much of the Affordable Care Act in secret talks with senators hand-picked by party leaders and with no plans for committee hearings to publicly vet the bill.

"I am encouraged by what we are seeing in the Senate. We're seeing senators leading," said Sen. Ted Cruz, R-Texas, one of the 13 Republicans involved in the private talks. "We're seeing senators working together in good faith. We're not seeing senators throwing rocks at each other, either in private or in the press."

The Legislature is leaving town without addressing a dramatic spike in workers’ compensation premiums, and House Speaker Richard Corcoran is blaming Senate Republicans.

In the Rose Garden last week President Trump and the House Republican leadership celebrated their vote to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act as though it had actually repealed and replaced the 2010 law colloquially known as Obamacare.

It had not, of course. Several more giant steps remain in the process. And more than a few of these same Republicans may well be grateful.

After weeks of will-they-or-won't-they tensions, the House managed to pass its GOP replacement for the Affordable Care Act on Thursday by a razor-thin margin. The vote was 217-213.

Democrats who lost the battle are still convinced they may win the political war. As the Republicans reached a majority for the bill, Democrats on the House floor began chanting, "Na, na, na, na ... hey, hey, hey ... goodbye." They say Republicans could lose their seats for supporting a bill that could cause so much disruption in voters' health care.

The Senate is moving ahead with a statewide ban on hydraulic fracturing, despite industry threats of a blizzard of lawsuits. But as Jim Ash reports, the House remains a big question mark.

Republican-Led Senate Takes First Step To Repeal 'Obamacare'

Jan 12, 2017
healthcare.gov

The Senate early Thursday passed a measure to take the first step forward on dismantling President Barack Obama's health care law, responding to pressure to move quickly even as Republicans and President-elect Trump grapple with what to replace it with.

Senate leaders are promising to take a comprehensive approach to overhauling Florida’s workers’ compensation system as business groups rail against a pending 14.5 percent rate hike.

Oxitec

The U.S. Senate on Tuesday again rejected a Zika funding bill that the House passed in June.