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Archive: May, 2013

POSTED: Thursday, May 9, 2013, 10:05 AM
The Somerset , named for the 9/11 site in Pennsylvania, is christened in Avondale, La. The ship has steel from the crash site. GERALD HERBERT / AP

WASHINGTON – The USS Somerset, a ship named to honor the passengers and crew of United Flight 93, will be commissioned in Philadelphia, Sens. Pat Toomey (R., Pa.) and Bob Casey (D., Pa.) said today.

“Pennsylvanians will be privileged to have the ship begin her service to the country in the Port of Philadelphia,” Toomey said in a new release. He thanked Secretary of the Navy Ray Mabus for the decision.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 11:00 AM
File photo: Sen. Pat Toomey, R-Pa. speaks to a member of the media at Temple University Hospital on Monday, March 11, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Rourke)

WASHINGTON – Less than a month after his failed push to expand background check for gun purchases, Pennsylvania Sen. Pat Toomey’s approval rating is up by nine percentage points in a Franklin & Marshall College poll out today.

Toomey, a Republican, saw his approval rating jump to 35 percent – the highest this poll has ever rated him. His disapproval rating nudged up to 22 percent, from 20 a month earlier.

POSTED: Wednesday, May 8, 2013, 7:29 PM

WASHINGTON -- In March it was dinner with Senate Republicans. Monday it was golf. Wednesday night, President Obama continued his Capitol Hill outreach, and South Jersey Congressman Rob Andrews had a seat at the dinner table.

Andrews, a close ally of Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi (D., Ca.) and the co-chair of the Democratic Steering and Policy Committee, was one of 10 House Democrats having dinner with Obama at the Jefferson Hotel, a few blocks from the White House.

The list also included Pelosi and the number two and three Democrats in the House, Steny Hoyer, of Maryland, and James Clyburn, of South Carolina.

POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 12:58 PM
President Barack Obama, left, with Sen. Mark Udall, D-Colo., right, chips on the first hole of the golf course at Andrews Air Force Base, Md., Monday, May 6, 2013. (AP Photo/Pablo Martinez Monsivais)

WASHINGTON – Game over - Saxby Chambliss has won.

Chambliss, a Republican senator from Georgia, officially has the best amateur golf story ever. He hit a hole-in-one Monday while playing with the president. Everyone else competing for glorious golf tales is now playing for second place (though the late Kim Jong-Il might argue.)

POSTED: Tuesday, May 7, 2013, 6:02 PM

WASHINGTON -- Pennsylvania Sen. Bob Casey, who changed his stand to favor new gun laws following the Sandy Hook school shooting in December, is going one step further.

Casey has signed on as co-sponsor of New Jersey Sen. Frank Lautenberg's bill to limit gun magazines to 10 rounds or fewer.

POSTED: Monday, May 6, 2013, 4:26 PM

WASHINGTON -- New Jersey Sen. Bob Menendez, confronting the biggest international crisis so far in his time as Senate Foreign Relations Committee chairman, introduced a bill Monday that would provide for arming Syrian opposition groups fighting against president Bashar al-Assad.

"The Assad regime has crossed a red line that forces us to consider all options," Menendez, a Democrat, said in a news release. "The greatest humanitarian crisis in the world is unfolding in and around Syria, and the U.S. must play a role in tipping the scales toward opposition groups and working to build a free Syria.”

Menendez's bill would give the Obama administration authority to provide arms, training and non-lethal supplies to vetted Syrian opposition groups. It would also create a $250 million transition fund for a post-Assad Syria.

About this blog

Jonathan Tamari is the Inquirer’s Washington correspondent. He writes about the lawmakers, politics and policy that affect Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and New Jersey.

Tamari previously covered the Philadelphia Eagles and the NFL. Before that he worked in Trenton, reporting on the characters and color of New Jersey state government. He lives in Washington.

Reach Jonathan at jtamari@phillynews.com.

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