By Miguel Gutierrez and Dave Graham MEXICO CITY (Reuters) - Mexico's lower house of Congress on Wednesday fast-tracked debate of an energy reform that would permit the biggest oil industry opening in 75 years, putting the bill closer to final approval after the Senate signed off on it earlier in the day. Lawmakers in the lower house voted to bypass committees for energy and constitutional matters after leftists, who are railing against the bill in the world's No. 10 oil producer, padlocked doors to the chamber to prevent a debate. The stalling tactics by leftists are unlikely to block the bill, which passed the Senate with the backing of the ruling Institutional Revolutionary Party, or PRI, and the opposition conservative National Action Party (PAN). The overhaul is designed to entice private oil companies to either operate independently in Mexico, or partner with state oil giant Pemex through production- and profit-sharing, service contracts and licenses.
By David Lawder and Thomas Ferraro WASHINGTON (Reuters) - Republicans in the U.S. House of Representatives on Wednesday were falling in line behind a bipartisan two-year budget deal, indicating that the normally rambunctious group of lawmakers is not spoiling for a year-end fiscal fight. Despite conservative groups' denunciation of the plan and public opposition from some members associated with the conservative Tea Party movement, the Republican-controlled House was planning to vote on Thursday to pass the deal, Representative Kevin McCarthy, the third-ranking Republican told Reuters. A key House panel, on a 9-3 vote, cleared the legislation for debate and votes in the full House. The Republican-controlled Rules Committee refused to allow Democrats to offer an amendment to extend federal unemployment benefits that expire later this month.
LAS VEGAS (AP) — More than 200 rescuers feared for the worst when a couple and four children vanished this week in the bitterly cold Nevada wilderness. But two days after their ill-fated trip to play in the snow Sunday, the family was found in good condition. By Wednesday, the mother and a child were released from the hospital.