Congress

Politics
3:48 am
Mon November 17, 2014

Top Spenders On Capitol Hill Pay Billions, Receive Trillions

The amount of money spent on Capitol Hill is way more than small change — but the impact of that money is a little murky. Here, the U.S. Capitol is reflected in a fountain full of coins on Election Day this year.
Mark Wilson Getty Images

Originally published on Mon November 17, 2014 3:24 pm

How much power should corporations wield in Washington? It's an enduring question — and now the Sunlight Foundation has devised a new way to gauge that power.

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Politics
6:05 am
Sat November 15, 2014

Get Ready To Watch This Lame-Duck Congress Sprint

U.S. Rep. Juan Vargas, D-Calif., speaks Wednesday as U.S. military veterans, service members and immigration reform advocates look on during a press conference urging President Obama to move forward with immigration reform at the U.S. Capitol in Washington.
Saul Loeb AFP/Getty Images

Originally published on Sat November 15, 2014 10:21 am

Maybe this duck won't be so lame after all.

Judging by what we've seen so far, the "zombie Congress" that returned to town this week (the reelected and the not-so-lucky) will do more business in the weeks following the election than it did in many months preceding.

Consider these trains — all long-sidetracked, all suddenly leaving the station on Capitol Hill:

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Immigration
4:16 pm
Thu November 13, 2014

Obama Plans To Use Executive Action To Reshape Immigration

Originally published on Fri November 14, 2014 10:31 am

Copyright 2014 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.

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Fourth Congressional District
9:43 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Democrat Jim Himes Keeps U.S. House Seat, Tops Dan Debicella

Rep. Jim Himes in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic Rep. Jim Himes has defeated Republican Dan Debicella to claim a fourth term representing Connecticut's Gold Coast in Congress. 

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed November 5, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Who's the Next Governor of Connecticut?

If you haven't done so already, now you can throw out all those political mailers you probably received.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Governor Dannel Malloy claimed victory in the race for governor early Wednesday morning, but only by a razor-thin margin. Without final results, the best call he could make was, "We're going to win this thing."

Republican challenger Tom Foley, reluctant to concede, gave a speech announcing that yeah, he probably lost. Also still unclear: results of the races for secretary of the state, comptroller, and treasurer. 

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Fifth Congressional District
7:56 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Elizabeth Esty Holds Off Mark Greenberg to Win Second Term in Fifth District Race

Rep. Elizabeth Esty in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic U.S. Rep. Elizabeth Esty has held off a challenge from Republican Mark Greenberg to claim a second term representing northwestern Connecticut in Congress. 

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Congress
1:40 am
Wed November 5, 2014

Fight For The Senate: Republicans Take Control, Adding 7 Seats

Kentucky Sen. Mitch McConnell arrives at his midterm election night rally with his wife, former U.S. Secretary of Labor Elaine Chao, in Louisville. McConnell, who won re-election, stands to become the next Senate majority leader.
Shannon Stapleton Reuters /Landov

Originally published on Wed November 5, 2014 7:44 am

With a loss by Sen. Mark Pryor, the first Democratic incumbent fell in the 2014 midterms, setting off a chain of events that brought the Republicans a new Senate majority. The man who would lead them in Congress, Sen. Mitch McConnell, coasted to a win in Kentucky.

McConnell was projected to defeat Democrat Alison Lundergan Grimes by a 15-point margin, 56 percent to 41 percent, with almost a third of the vote tallied.

In Arkansas, Democratic Sen. Mark Pryor lost to Republican Rep. Tom Cotton, a first-term member of Congress. Pryor has served in the Senate since 2003.

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First Congressional District
11:29 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Democrat John Larson Wins Ninth Term in Congress

Rep. John Larson in a WNPR file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Rep. John Larson has been re-elected to a ninth term in Congress representing a heavily Democratic district in central Connecticut. 

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Second Congressional District
10:37 pm
Tue November 4, 2014

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney Sails to Re-election

Rep. Joe Courtney.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Democratic U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney has won re-election to another term in Congress representing eastern Connecticut. 

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Congress
8:26 am
Mon November 3, 2014

What If The Senate Isn't Decided On Election Day?

It's a long shot, but there's a scenario where control of the Senate might not be known until Jan. 6 — three days after the start of the next Congress. That's when Republican David Perdue and Democrat Michelle Nunn will face each other in a Georgia runoff if one of them fails to win 50 percent on Tuesday.
David Tulis AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 5:42 pm

If you've enjoyed the battle for control of the Senate over the past many months, here's some good news: The drama could well spill over into next month — or even next year.

While Republicans are increasingly optimistic — and Democrats, pessimistic — about their prospects Tuesday, there are plausible scenarios that could have America waiting well beyond Nov. 4 to know which party will have a Senate majority.

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Law
3:21 am
Mon November 3, 2014

Supreme Court To Consider Case On Passports Of Jerusalem-Born Citizens

Ari Zivotofsky (center) walks with then 9-year-old son Menachem, outside the Supreme Court in Washington on Nov. 7, 2011. Their case, regarding the desire to have their son's U.S. passport list his place of birth as Israel, returns to the Supreme Court this Monday.
Evan Vucci AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 8:00 am

The U.S. Supreme Court hears arguments Monday for a second time in a case that combines Middle East policy with the dueling foreign policy roles of the president and Congress. It's a political hot potato that asks what U.S. passports should say about the birthplace of American citizens born in Jerusalem.

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Election 2014
5:22 am
Sun November 2, 2014

5 Things To Know About The 2014 Midterm Election

Voters participate in early voting this past June at the Oklahoma County Elections Board in Oklahoma City.
Sue Ogrocki AP

Originally published on Mon November 3, 2014 4:49 pm

In case you haven't been following this year's election that much (don't worry, we're not judging you), we've rounded up a list of big ideas in play in the 2014 midterms.

Turnout: In a nutshell, it's likely to be lower than in 2012. The Pew Research Center says voter turnout in the midterms has been lower than in presidential election years as far back as the 1840s.

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Election 2014
8:35 am
Wed October 22, 2014

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg Meet in Second Debate

Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg debated in Waterbury on Tuesday.
File Photo

Democrat Elizabeth Esty and her republican challenger, Mark Greenberg, touched on a wide array of issues during their second debate: the economy, transit, climate, and Social Security. That last topic has been a point of contention among the two candidates following a controversial television ad from the Esty campaign.

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Election 2014
1:02 pm
Tue October 21, 2014

Himes and Debicella Debate Foreign Policy in Stamford

Jim Himes, left, and Dan Debicella.

Fourth District Democratic Congressman Jim Himes and Republican challenger Dan Debicella met to debate foreign policy and international security on Monday night. The event was held at the World Affairs Forum on UConn’s Stamford campus.

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Trucking
4:21 pm
Fri October 17, 2014

Blumenthal, McGovern Oppose Driving Limit Revisions

Originally published on Thu October 16, 2014 6:56 pm

Connecticut’s U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal and Massachusetts Congressman Jim McGovern are calling attention to a recent poll in hopes of blocking a Republican-driven amendment that would adjust limits on the number of hours truck drivers can be behind the wheel.

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Election 2014
12:23 pm
Wed October 15, 2014

Economy Takes Center Stage at Second Congressional District Debate

Joe Courtney, left, and Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh debate in New London.
Sean D. Elliot The Day

Four-term Democratic congressman Joe Courtney faced his Republican challenger in the second district in a debate hosted by WNPR and The Day newspaper.

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Election 2014
8:57 pm
Tue October 14, 2014

Candidates for Connecticut's Second Congressional District Face Off at Debate

Joe Courtney, left, and Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh debate Tuesday night.

Two candidates vying for Connecticut's Second Congressional District seat, which represents the eastern half of the state, faced off at a debate in New London on Tuesday evening at the Garde Arts Center. 

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The Pollinators
8:10 am
Thu October 2, 2014

Should Neonicotinoids Be Banned to Protect Honeybees?

Neonicotinoids, a class of pesticide, thought to be linked to decling bee numbers, have been temporarily banned in Europe.
d o w n s t r e a m Flickr Creative Commons

Members of Congress, including three from Connecticut, have signed a letter urging the Environmental Protection Agency to better regulate a controversial class of pesticide called neonicotinoids.

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Financial Regulation
5:16 am
Wed October 1, 2014

Sen. Warren: We Need Regulators Who 'Work For The American People'

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, of Massachusetts, speaks to a group of supporters at a rally in support of Kentucky Democratic candidate Alison Lundergan Grimes in June.
Timothy D. Easley AP

Originally published on Wed October 1, 2014 8:39 am

Sen. Elizabeth Warren, a Democrat from Massachusetts, says newly released recordings of conversations between Federal Reserve officials show that the same kind of cozy relationships that led to the 2008 financial crisis still dominate Wall Street.

In an interview with Morning Edition, Warren says the recordings provide definite proof of that relationship.

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Capping Gas
8:11 am
Tue September 23, 2014

Senate Bill Looks to Regulate Atmospheric "Super Pollutants"

A new U.S. Senate bill is looking to establish more regulations for non-CO2 greenhouse gas emissions.
why 137 Creative Commons

Last weekend's climate change march brought thousands of protesters to New York City. A new bill now making its way through the U.S. Senate is also aiming to reduce the impact of so-called atmospheric "super pollutants."

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Middle East
9:23 am
Fri September 19, 2014

Connecticut Senators Split on Vote to Arm Syrian Rebels

Sen. Richard Blumenthal and then Senator-elect Chris Murphy (File photo).
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Senators Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal split their votes on legislation authorizing the U.S. military to arm and train moderate Syrian rebels fighting the so-called Islamic State, otherwise known as ISIS or ISIL.

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Middle East
6:38 pm
Thu September 18, 2014

Senate Approves Measure To Arm And Train Syrian Rebels

Originally published on Thu September 18, 2014 7:11 pm

The Senate joined the House on Thursday in rare bipartisanship by approving a measure to train and equip members of the Syrian opposition.

The Senate passed the measure 78 to 22; the House passed its version with a 273-to-156 vote on Wednesday. The bill now heads to the White House for President Obama's signature.

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Middle East
8:20 am
Thu September 18, 2014

Connecticut House Members Mostly Reject Training of Syrian Rebels

The U.S. House of Representatives passed the McKeon amendment to arm and train Syrian rebels.
Ron Cogswell Creative Commons

Four of Connecticut’s five members of the U.S. House of Representatives voted on Wednesday against President’s Obama’s plan to help arm and train moderate Syrian rebels in their fight against the extremist group known as the Islamic State. The measure was approved by the House by a vote of 273 to 156.

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Election 2014
9:56 am
Mon September 15, 2014

Connecticut's Esty Calls On Republican Opponent To Apologize For Email

Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty (D-Conn.)

Originally published on Fri September 12, 2014 2:01 pm

A Connecticut Congresswoman is calling on her Republican opponent to apologize for including the beheading of an American journalist in an email to supporters.

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Politics
9:34 am
Sat September 13, 2014

Obama's Hawkish Plan For Islamic State Puts Doves In A Quandary

President Obama's plan to degrade and destroy the Islamic state poses a challenge for members of his own party, who have traditionally provided the anti-war voices in Congress.
Saul Loeb AP

Originally published on Sat September 13, 2014 3:47 pm

President Obama arguably won the Democratic primary in 2008 because of his strong opposition to the Iraq war. Now he's arguing he doesn't need congressional approval to ramp up a bombing campaign in Iraq and expand air strikes into Syria.

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Congress
1:01 pm
Thu September 11, 2014

Boehner: House GOP 'Ready To Work With The President'

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on Capitol Hill on Thursday. Boehner says Congress stands ready to work with the president on the threat from Islamic State militants.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu September 11, 2014 3:31 pm

House Speaker John Boehner, commenting on President Obama's strategy to defeat Islamic State militants, says Congress has received a request for authorization to train Syrian rebels and "we ought to give the president what he's asking for."

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Congress
5:13 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

In An Era Of Gridlock, Does Controlling The Senate Really Matter?

Senate Minority Leader Republican Mitch McConnell has reportedly been talking privately about what he'd do as majority leader.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 7:41 pm

Republicans are increasingly confident that when this year's midterm elections are over, they will control both houses of Congress. But in this period of polarization and gridlock, what difference would it make?

This midterm election doesn't seem to be about anything in particular other than whether you like President Obama or not. There's no overarching issue, no clashing national agendas. Instead, it's just a series of very expensive, brutally negative races for Congress.

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Politics
3:00 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Obama Wants Congress' Support On ISIS, But He May Not Need It

President Obama will address the nation Wednesday to present his strategy against the Islamic State.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Tue September 9, 2014 2:57 pm

The top four congressional leaders will be at the White House today to talk to President Obama about U.S. military action against the group known as the Islamic State, or ISIS. This comes just one day before Obama will address the nation and lay out his strategy for dealing with the extremist group.

The president says he wants congressional buy in, but "buy in" can mean a lot of things.

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Ray Rice
12:53 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

Blumenthal Calls for NFL to Impose Stricter Domestic Violence Penalties

Ray Rice at the Baltimore Ravens' training camp in 2009. The Ravens released him after new video emerged showing him assaulting his fiance in an elevator.
Keith Allison Creative Commons

The National Football League's punishment for acts of domestic violence is too lenient, according to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal. He responded to the new video showing former NFL player Ray Rice knocking his then-fiancée unconscious in an elevator.

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Congress
12:24 pm
Tue September 9, 2014

5 Questions About The 2 Weeks Congress Plans To Work This Fall

Members of the Senate and the House of Representatives return to work at the Capitol this week after a five-week vacation. They must get to work on a continuing resolution to extend funding for government agencies to prevent a government shutdown.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed September 10, 2014 7:45 am

Tanned and rested after a five-week summer vacation, Congress has returned for a brief session before returning home to campaign for re-election. This autumn session is expected to last a couple of weeks, give or take a couple of days.

What can be accomplished in so short a time? A great deal, if House and Senate choose to work together. Or nothing, if they don't. If you are wondering which will happen, you haven't been watching the 113th Congress up to now.

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