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Jennifer Bendery
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Jennifer Bendery has been a White House and congressional reporter for The Huffington Post since April 2011. She covered Congress for four years for Roll Call, a Capitol Hill newspaper, and spent four years covering the Texas Legislature for GalleryWatch in Austin, TX. She also worked in book publishing for three years in San Francisco and was a health care policy reporter for two years in Providence, R.I.

Entries by Jennifer Bendery

Lindsey Graham: We'll Pick Up GOP Votes To Confirm Loretta Lynch

(67) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 4:41 PM

WASHINGTON -- It's going to be a squeaker of a vote for U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, whenever the Senate finally votes to confirm her.

There are only four GOP senators publicly supporting Lynch: Orrin Hatch (Utah), Lindsey Graham (S.C.), Jeff Flake (Ariz.) and Susan Collins (Maine). If all...

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House Stuns Itself By Passing Bipartisan $214 Billion Medicare Package

(390) Comments | Posted March 26, 2015 | 12:17 PM

WASHINGTON -- The House passed a bill Thursday that may be its biggest legislative accomplishment of the year: a $214 billion package that fixes a massive funding gap in Medicare, extends health care for poor children and makes long-term spending cuts.

The bill overwhelmingly passed 392-37, a rare moment of...

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Pelosi, Boehner Rekindle Bipartisanship With $214 Billion Medicare Deal

(82) Comments | Posted March 25, 2015 | 7:36 PM

WASHINGTON -- It's almost like seeing a unicorn run through Congress.

House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D-Calif.) have teamed up on a bill, and it's a biggie. It would fix a massive funding gap in Medicare, extend health care for poor children and make long-term...

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Top Democrat Worried Senate Will Reject Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

(362) Comments | Posted March 24, 2015 | 5:02 PM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Minority Whip Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Tuesday that he has real concerns about Republicans voting down President Barack Obama's nominee for attorney general, Loretta Lynch.

"I am worried about it," Durbin told reporters. "I've been waiting for Republican senators to join the three in the Senate Judiciary...

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Rudy Giuliani Tells His Party To Stop Blocking Loretta Lynch's Nomination

(200) Comments | Posted March 20, 2015 | 12:28 PM

WASHINGTON -- Former New York City Mayor Rudy Giuliani (R) said Friday that Loretta Lynch is an "extraordinary" nominee for U.S. attorney general, and called on Senate Republicans to stop holding up her confirmation vote.

In a call with reporters, Giuliani said he is a "very dedicated Republican" and doesn't...

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Obama Regrets Not Closing Guantanamo Prison 'On The First Day'

(615) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 5:38 PM

WASHINGTON -- President Barack Obama said Wednesday that if he could go back and do his presidency over again, he would have immediately shut down the U.S. detention center in Guantanamo Bay, Cuba.

"I think I would have closed Guantanamo on the first day," Obama said to applause at an...

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Lone House Democratic Co-Sponsor Of Trafficking Bill Jumps Ship Over Anti-Abortion Provision

(115) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 12:07 PM

WASHINGTON -- House Republicans just lost the one Democratic co-sponsor they had on a bill aimed at curbing human trafficking.

Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.) announced Tuesday night that she is pulling her name off the Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act because of an anti-abortion provision that Republicans tucked...

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Dem Senator: Loretta Lynch Being Asked 'To Sit In The Back Of The Bus' To Get A Senate Vote

(266) Comments | Posted March 18, 2015 | 10:56 AM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) said Wednesday that Loretta Lynch, the first African-American woman to be nominated for U.S. attorney general, is being treated by Republicans the way Rosa Parks was treated in 1955 when she wanted a seat on a bus: sent to the back.

President Barack Obama...

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Now In Charge, Senate Republicans Slow To Move Forward With Obama's Judicial Nominees

(43) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 1:02 PM

WASHINGTON -- U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch has been waiting months for a confirmation vote. But she's not the only one twiddling her thumbs.

Republicans haven't confirmed a single one of President Barack Obama's judicial nominees since taking control of the Senate in January. In total, there...

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Traffick Jam: Democrats Filibuster Human Trafficking Bill Over Anti-Abortion Provision

(724) Comments | Posted March 17, 2015 | 11:56 AM

WASHINGTON -- Senate Democrats filibustered anti-human trafficking legislation on Tuesday because of an anti-abortion provision Republicans slipped into it.

The Senate voted 55 to 43 to move the bill forward, falling short of the 60 votes needed to clear a procedural hurdle. Democratic Sens. Heidi Heitkamp (N.D.), Bob Casey (Pa.),...

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For The Love Of God, Lindsey Graham, Give Email A Try

(66) Comments | Posted March 16, 2015 | 2:46 PM

WASHINGTON -- It sounded like a fun experiment at first: Get through a day of work without using email.

Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) does it every day. He recently said he's never sent an email in his entire life. He also doesn't use Twitter or Facebook --...

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Joe Manchin Opposes NRA-Backed Bill On Concealed Guns

(532) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 6:28 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) is a self-described "law-abiding gun owner, hunter, card-carrying life member of the National Rifle Association and Second Amendment advocate."

But on Thursday, he said he "strongly" opposes an NRA-backed bill in West Virginia that would nix permit and training requirements for people carrying...

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John Lewis Says Voter ID Laws Are 'Poll Taxes By Another Name'

(325) Comments | Posted March 12, 2015 | 4:22 PM

WASHINGTON -- Civil rights icon Rep. John Lewis (D-Ga.) said Thursday that voter ID laws are a modern-day version of poll taxes once used by Southern states to disenfranchise black and poor people.

In a piece called "The Unfinished Work of Selma," Lewis reflected on the Supreme Court's...

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Selma's Senator Not Really Sure What's Going On With That Voting Rights Stuff

(157) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 5:54 PM

WASHINGTON -- It was just last weekend that people flooded into Selma, Alabama, to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights marches there -- marches that led to the Voting Rights Act.

Dozens of lawmakers made the trek, including Democrats who have been desperately seeking Republicans to help...

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John Kerry: If Congress Can't Pass A Bipartisan AUMF, They 'Absolutely' Shouldn't Pass One

(62) Comments | Posted March 11, 2015 | 3:49 PM

WASHINGTON -- Secretary of State John Kerry told lawmakers Wednesday that if they can't pass President Barack Obama's war authorization request with a broad, bipartisan vote, it's better that they don't pass one at all.

Testifying before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee, Kerry was asked about the usefulness of Congress...

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GOP Sneaks Anti-Abortion Language Into Bipartisan Human Trafficking Bill

(555) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 6:37 PM

WASHINGTON -- The fate of what should have been noncontroversial legislation to crack down on human trafficking is uncertain after Democrats discovered that Republicans had slipped anti-abortion language into the bill.

The Justice for Victims of Trafficking Act, introduced by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas), creates a fund to help...

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Senate To Vote Next Week On Attorney General Nominee Loretta Lynch

(58) Comments | Posted March 10, 2015 | 3:21 PM

WASHINGTON -- The Senate will vote next week on U.S. attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch, Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) said Tuesday.

Democrats have been complaining for weeks about Republicans slow-walking Lynch's nomination. She was nominated in November, at which point Republicans insisted that President Barack Obama wait until...

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Sen. Tim Scott Calls For Updating Voting Rights Act, But Opposes Bill That Would Do It

(129) Comments | Posted March 9, 2015 | 6:27 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.) won't support legislation to restore the 1965 Voting Rights Act. But on Sunday, he called for updating the landmark law in a way that sounds awfully similar to the legislation he opposes.

In an interview on CBS' "Face the Nation," Scott was asked if...

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Democratic Senator Uses Selma Trip To Lobby GOP On Voting Rights Bill

(119) Comments | Posted March 7, 2015 | 4:24 PM

WASHINGTON -- Sen. Chris Coons (D-Del.) is among the hoards of lawmakers in Selma, Alabama, this weekend to mark the 50th anniversary of the historic civil rights marches, which sparked passage of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

But he's not just there for a photo op. Coons is walking the...

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The Army Just Made It A Little Easier For Transgender Troops To Serve

(17) Comments | Posted March 6, 2015 | 6:34 PM

WASHINGTON -- In a sign that the U.S. Defense Department may be inching closer to lifting its ban on transgender troops, the Army announced Friday that it is elevating the level of authority required to discharge someone based on gender identity.

The authority to discharge service members because they are...

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