Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Newspaper article Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (Pittsburgh, PA)

NATION [Derived Headline]

Article excerpt

REID SEEKS TO SPEED UP VOTES

WASHINGTON - 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.

Mr. Reid said on the Senate floor this morning that the Senate has received the bipartisan budget agreement that the House easily approved on Thursday night and said the Senate would soon receive a defense policy bill from the House. He said both bills are priorities for the Senate.

But Mr. Reid said absent consent from Republicans those bills will have to wait until after a series of confirmation votes on presidential nominees, including Jeh Johnson to lead the Department of Homeland Security. Those votes are currently scheduled to run into Saturday night.

The Senate early today confirmed President Barack Obama's pick to serve as secretary of the Air Force.

Deborah Lee James was confirmed by a 79-6 vote. She is the second woman to lead the Air Force. Ms. James is president of the Technical and Engineering Sector at Science Applications International Corp., a major federal government contractor.

NEWLYWED ADMITS KILLING HUSBAND

MISSOULA, Mont. - A Montana newlywed pleaded guilty Thursday to killing her husband of eight days by pushing him from a cliff in Glacier National Park while they argued about her second thoughts about the marriage.

The surprise plea agreement with prosecutors came just before closing arguments were set to begin in the trial of Jordan Graham, 22.

In exchange for the guilty plea to second-degree murder, prosecutors agreed to drop a first-degree murder charge and a count of making a false statement to authorities. Graham could face a maximum sentence of life in prison when she is sentenced on March 27. …

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