By Richard Cowan and Jason Lange WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The U.S. Senate on Friday was poised to approve the "fast-track" authority that President Barack Obama says he needs to complete a 12-nation Pacific Rim trade deal central to projecting American influence in Asia. The Republican-controlled Senate narrowly rejected a push by some lawmakers to include rules to punish currency manipulators, a measure the Obama administration worked to defeat. Under fast-track, lawmakers would give Obama and his successor in 2017 the power to negotiate trade deals with foreign governments knowing that Congress could offer input but only approve or disapprove the deals and not amend them.
By Patricia Zengerle WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The chairman of the U.S. Senate Intelligence Committee released a proposal meant to bridge divides among lawmakers on how to handle the June 1 expiration of domestic spying programs, with no clear outcome in sight late on Friday. Republican Senator Richard Burr of North Carolina announced his bill as lawmakers tried to figure out how to handle the expiration of certain provisions of the USA Patriot Act that let spy agencies sweep up millions of Americans' telephone records. Although Republicans control both the Senate and the House of Representatives, the two chambers were at an impasse, provoking a rebuke from the White House.