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An overwhelming majority of people disapprove of Republican lawmakers' plan to repeal the Affordable Care Act without having a ready replacement for the health care law, according to a poll released Friday.

And judging by the letter-writing and lobbying in the first week of the new congressional session, many health care and business groups agree.

Updated at 2:15 p.m. ET

Intelligence agency leaders repeated their determination Thursday that only "the senior most officials" in Russia could have authorized recent hacks into Democratic National Committee and Clinton officials' emails during the presidential election.

Director of National Intelligence James Clapper affirmed an Oct. 7 joint statement from 17 intelligence agencies that the Russian government directed the election interference — and went further.

There's a new narrative solidifying in Washington: President-elect Donald Trump distrusts the U.S. intelligence community because it's been sounding the alarm on Russia's interference in the November election. In turn, this feeds a growing sense of dread among U.S. intelligence professionals that the president-elect and his inner circle will ignore or undermine the intelligence community at every opportunity.

After a storm of criticism, including from President-elect Donald Trump, House Republicans have reversed themselves and restored the current rules of the Office of Congressional Ethics.

GOP members met Tuesday afternoon and agreed by unanimous consent to withdraw a change to House rules approved late Monday evening, before the new Congress was sworn in, that would have weakened the ethics office, an independent watchdog first established in 2008 under House Democrats.

Xerox Corporation

Xerox has announced it will keep its headquarters in Connecticut, after it splits off its document management arm into a separate company. The state will give Xerox a $4.4 million low-interest loan to retain its 150 workers in Norwalk. The company said it may also add between 20 and 40 jobs over four years. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Five hundred thirty-eight members of the Electoral College meet Monday in state capitols across the U.S. to cast their votes for the next president -- and Connecticut U.S. Congressman Jim Himes is calling on them to reject President-elect Donald Trump.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Wednesday is the fourth anniversary of the Sandy Hook Elementary School shooting in Newtown, Connecticut. A gunman walked into the school and took the lives of 20 children and six educators.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

At least one of Linda McMahon's former campaign trail rivals is willing to give her the benefit of the doubt, as she gets the nod for a cabinet-level position in the incoming Trump administration. Senator Richard Blumenthal has given her elevation a cautious welcome in remarks to WNPR.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

A bipartisan mental health reform bill co-authored by Democratic Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy and Republican Louisiana Senator Bill Cassidy passed the Senate on Wednesday. It passed the House last week.

Ray Hardman / WNPR

With the Donald Trump transition team announcing new cabinet picks on a nearly daily basis, Connecticut Senator Richard Blumenthal wants to make sure those nominees disclose their tax returns. 

ehpien flickr.com/photos/91499534@N00 / Creative Commons

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is praising House passage on Wednesday night of the bipartisan Mental Health Reform Act. 

Nancy Pelosi beat back her toughest challenge yet to her leadership of Democrats in the House of Representatives, defeating Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan to secure another term as House minority leader.

The California Democrat got 134 votes to Ryan's 63 in a secret ballot vote on Wednesday. Pelosi had boasted going into the vote that she had support from two-thirds of the caucus, and she received just over that amount.

In the past week President-elect Donald Trump has tweeted about Cuba, and the recount funded by the Green Party. He tweeted eleven times about Hillary Clinton and voter fraud, including a controversial tweet in which he claimed that "millions of people voted illegally." Trump re-tweeted a 16-year-old who criticized coverage of CNN, and said people who burn the American flag should face consequences - "perhaps loss of citizenship or a year in jail!" 

Paul Morigi / Brookings Institution

Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is sounding the alarm on President-elect Donald Trump's pick to head up Health and Human Services in his cabinet.

jennie-o, creative commons

In his recent New Yorker commentary, Jelani Cobb writes about the defiance some states are feeling towards President-elect Trump and his policies. Democratic leaders in California and New York have released statements saying they'll protect their most vulnerable communities. 

Lori Mack/WNPR

Connecticut U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal is anticipating what a Trump presidency could mean for efforts to stall climate change. He assembled a group of Connecticut environmental advocates in New Haven to strategize on Monday.

In the wake of his party's significant losses across the Rust Belt in last week's elections, Ohio Rep. Tim Ryan is stepping up to challenge Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi's nearly 14-year grip on the House Democratic caucus.

Ryan, a a seven-term lawmaker who represents Youngstown, wrote to his colleagues that "Democrats must not let this opportunity for change pass by without a fight." He noted that the party has hemorrhaged over 60 House seats in the past six years and has only been in the majority for two terms in the past 18 years.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

Connecticut’s two United States Senators said they will give a fair hearing to any nominee Donald Trump may send before them for the Supreme Court. 

The Affordable Care Act's requirement that people have health insurance or pay a fine is one of the least popular provisions of the law, and one that Republicans have pledged to eliminate when they repeal and replace Obamacare.

But take a look at some of the replacement proposals that are floating around and it becomes clear that the "individual mandate," as it's called, could still exist, but in another guise.

Republicans have been vowing for six years now to repeal the Affordable Care Act. They have voted to do so dozens of times, despite knowing any measures would be vetoed by President Obama.

But the election of Donald Trump as president means Republican lawmakers wouldn't even have to pass repeal legislation to stop the health law from functioning. Instead, President Trump could do much of it with a stroke of a pen.

No matter who wins the presidential election on Tuesday, it's nearly certain Congress will be more narrowly divided come January.

And with no clear mandate likely coming out of 2016, there is little reason to be overly optimistic that the next Congress can escape the cycle of unproductivity and polarization that has gripped Washington in recent years.


The 115th Congress: Political Dynamics

With little chance of a Democratic House takeover in the 2016 election, the two likeliest scenarios are:

From the outset, Democrats needed a very big-wave election to get to the 30 seats they need to win back control of the House. Then, a video of Donald Trump surfaced showing the GOP nominee making lewd comments, and later multiple women accused him of groping them. That left some wondering if these scandals could trigger that wave.

But that simply hasn't happened.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Election Day is just around the corner, which means it’s almost time to cast your vote in Connecticut's U.S. Senate race. Last month, Republican candidate Dan Carter stopped by for an in-depth look at his campaign. 

This hour, it's Democratic incumbent Richard Blumenthal's turn to answer our questions and hear from you. As always, we take your calls, tweets, and emails.  

A riff by Donald Trump at a rally in Wilkes-Barre, Pa., on Monday night about Hillary Clinton's culpability in the deaths of the U.S. ambassador and three other Americans in Benghazi, Libya, is raising questions about where exactly Trump got his information and how.

During his speech, Trump held up a piece of paper. "This just came out a little while ago. I have to tell you this," Trump said as he read from the page, which he identified as an email from Clinton confidant Sidney Blumenthal.

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