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Congress taking up large spending measures today...Senate hearing on Social Security office closings

By The Associated Press | Posted - Jun. 18, 2014 at 2:40 a.m.



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WASHINGTON (AP) — Congress is set to begin considering major spending today, but agreement on debate rules and amendments are proving elusive in the Senate, which is considering a $180 billion measure to fund five Cabinet departments. Over in the House, lawmakers are expected to take up a $570 billion Pentagon funding measure.

WASHINGTON (AP) — There's a Senate hearing scheduled today on a new congressional report that blames budget restrictions for the closing of a record number of field offices by the Social Security Administration, just as millions of baby boomers approach retirement. Seniors seeking information and help from the agency are facing increasingly long waits. The report says Social Security has closed 64 field offices since 2010.

WASHINGTON (AP) — Amid the capture of an alleged leader of the deadly 2012 attacks on Americans in Benghazi, Libya, U.S. officials are pledging to redouble efforts to catch others responsible for the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans. U.S. officials say Ahmed Abu Khattala (hah-TAH'-lah) is being held on a U.S. ship in the Mediterranean Sea and will be tried in federal court.

BAGHDAD (AP) — Iraq's largest oil refinery has come under attack by Islamic militants in the country's north. A top security official says fighters of the al-Qaida-inspired Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant began their attack late Monday night and it continued into Tuesday morning. The Beiji (BAY'-zhee) refinery accounts for a little more than a quarter of the country's entire refining capacity.

ISLAMABAD (AP) — Pakistani intelligence officials a militant hideout in Pakistan's northwestern tribal region has been hit by a suspected drone strike. The officials say four men were killed in the strike not far from the Afghan border. The attack is the third in the past two weeks following a six month break.

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The Associated Press

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