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Senate

Senate Democrats held an all-night session Monday night into Tuesday morning in a last-ditch effort to try to stop President Trump's nominee for secretary of education, Betsy DeVos, from being confirmed.

Among those who took to the floor was Sen. Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts, who said it was "difficult to imagine a worse choice to head the Department of Education."

Of all President Trump's Cabinet choices, only one currently seems at serious risk of being denied confirmation by the Senate.

The confirmation of Betsy DeVos as education secretary is a question mark after two Republican senators, Susan Collins of Maine and Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, announced they plan to vote against her.

Updated 1:15 p.m. ET

A day after Democrats on the Senate Finance Committee boycotted votes to advance the nominations for President Trump's nominees to lead the departments of the Treasury and Health and Human Services, the panel's Republicans met in a surprise meeting Wednesday morning and voted to suspend committee rules to vote on those nominees without Democrats present.

When House and Senate Democrats held a rally Monday night to oppose President Trump's executive order on refugees and immigrants, the crowd wasn't all on their side.

Pockets of, "Do your job!" jeers broke out, as did chants of "Walk the walk."

Democrats don't have too many opportunities to set the agenda in Congress right now. They don't decide what bills are called for a vote, and, due to changes in Senate procedures, won't be able to block any of President-elect Donald Trump's Cabinet picks without Republican defections.

One thing Democrats can affect are the headlines coming out of the first wave of confirmation hearings.

The week before Donald Trump takes the oath of office will set the stage for his entry into the Oval Office. Not only will at least nine of his Cabinet nominees begin their Senate confirmation hearings, but the president-elect himself will face reporters at a long-awaited press conference, where he may address how he plans to separate his business interests from his presidency.

On top of that, President Obama steps into the spotlight one last time, on Tuesday evening in Chicago, for a farewell address in which he's likely to frame his legacy.

Sen. Rob Portman Wins Reelection Over Ted Strickland

Nov 8, 2016
Rob Portman
Gage Skidmore / Flickr Creative Commons

Ohio Republican U.S. Sen. Rob Portman has won re-election over Democratic former Gov. Ted Strickland in a race Democrats once considered a good opportunity to pick up a Senate seat.

Senate Panel OKs Tougher Prison Terms For Ohio Gun Crimes

Apr 22, 2015
Flickr / Creative Commons

Ohioans who repeatedly use guns to commit crimes could face tougher penalties under a new proposed law.

Ted Strickland (left) and P.G. Sittenfield
File photos

The Senate Democratic Campaign Committee today endorsed former Ohio Gov. Ted Strickland in his race for the Senate next year, despite the presence of a second contender.

73-year-old former governor Ted Strickland plans to challenge Republican Senator Rob Portman. Strickland will likely face an opponent in the primary, P.G. Sittenfeld, a Cincinnati City Councilman. Sittenfeld says he represents the future of the party.

“You know I’m very proud to be a strong Democrat and to have strong progressive values and ideas. But I’m not constrained by the rigid ideology of yesterday. I think what people want are problem solvers,” Sittenfeld says.

Senators have okayed a bill that had been hung up in debate for about five months - it would change old and antiquated regulations on local telephone companies. Consumer groups say this bill is better than a previous version, but, as Ohio Public Radio's Karen Kasler reports, they aren't ready to call it a good plan as it heads toward the House.

Two of Ohio's most prominent Democratic state officeholders are running for the U.S. Senate in 2010. Secretary of State Jennifer Brunner and Lt. Gov. Lee Fisher will both seek the party's nomination to replace Republican Sen. George Voinovich, who is not running re-election.

Ohio Democratic Party Chairman Chris Redfern says Brunner is set to announce her campaign Tuesday.

Fisher told supporters and political associates in an e-mail Tuesday that he had decided over the weekend to run.

New Plan Could Block Unfair Use of Eminent Domain

May 31, 2007

State senators have approved a two-pronged plan they say will stop local governments from unfairly using eminent domain to take Ohioans' houses for economic development projects. Part of the plan includes letting Ohio voters have a say, but it's not clear if that ballot issue will become a reality.

Racially-tinged debate erupts in Ohio Senate

May 25, 2006

A seemingly civil debate about history while discussing a feel-good, no-impact bill quickly devolved into a shouting match and accusations of racism that interrupted Ohio Senate business for two hours last night. The fracas ended with an apology from the Senate president.

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