Congress

Where We Live
9:00 am
Mon July 28, 2014

Where We Vote 2014: Elizabeth Esty

Rep. Elizabeth Esty from Connecticut's 5th District.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

The 2012 race for Connecticut’s Fifth Congressional District seat was filled with campaign-related shenanigans. The person who came out on top was Elizabeth Esty.

She’s running for re-election this year in the “Fightin’ Fifth,” and she joins us for our Where We Vote series to talk politics, foreign relations, immigration, and more.

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Reversing Outsourcing
11:33 am
Fri July 25, 2014

Sen. Murphy Urges Support for Bring Jobs Home Act

Sen. Chris Murphy (D-CT) in a file photo.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Chris Murphy hopes for a strong vote in the Senate this week on the Bring Jobs Home Act. The bill would take away the ability for businesses to get a tax break for sending jobs overseas, and instead incentivizes companies to bring jobs back to the United States.

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Russian Sanctions
4:18 pm
Mon July 21, 2014

Murphy: Europe Should Impose a "Crippling Round of Sanctions" Against Russia

Murphy told CNN's Carol Costello that the crash of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17 "is Russia's fault."
Credit WNPR

On Monday at the White House, President Obama urged Russian President Vladmir Putin to order Russian separatists in Ukraine to allow international investigators unfettered access to the crash site of Malaysian Airlines Flight MH17. 

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Contraceptive Coverage
2:39 pm
Wed July 16, 2014

Democratic Effort To Override Hobby Lobby Ruling Fails

GOP Sen. Kelly Ayotte of New Hampshire complained about a Democratic effort to reaffirm a contraceptive mandate at a Tuesday news conference
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Wed July 16, 2014 4:34 pm

A Democratic effort to override the Supreme Court's recent ruling on contraceptive coverage failed in the Senate on Wednesday.

Bill sponsors fell four votes short of the 60 votes needed to cut off debate on the measure.

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Congress
1:41 pm
Tue July 15, 2014

House Votes to Extend Moratorium on State, Local Taxes for Internet Access

The U.S. Capitol building.
Credit Ron Cogswell / Creative Commons

The House has voted to make permanent a moratorium that prevents state and local governments from taxing access to the Internet. 

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Contraceptive Coverage
10:20 am
Mon July 14, 2014

Blumenthal Calls on Hobby Lobby to Adhere to Connecticut Law

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal in a WNPR file folder.
Av Harris WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal released a letter on Monday to the CEO of Hobby Lobby calling on the company to follow Connecticut law and offer its employees in East Haven and Manchester full contraceptive coverage.

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Immigration
2:27 pm
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama Seeks $3.7B To Handle Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep in a holding cell at a U.S. Customs and Border Protection processing facility in Brownsville, Texas, on June 18. The White House on Tuesday sought $3.7 billion to deal with the immigration crisis at the border.
Eric Gay AP

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 4:12 pm

Update at 3:33 p.m. ET

The White House said it's asking Congress for $3.7 billion to address the humanitarian crisis along the border with Mexico.

The statement said the funds would cover domestic enforcement, repatriation and reintegration of migrants, transportation costs, additional immigration judges, prosecutors and litigation attorneys to "ensure cases are processed fairly and as quickly as possible."

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Around the Nation
3:37 am
Tue July 8, 2014

Obama To Ask Congress For $2B To Ease Immigration Crisis

Detainees sleep and watch television in a holding cell where hundreds of mostly Central American immigrant children are being processed at a U.S. Customs facility in Nogales, Texas.
Getty Images

Originally published on Tue July 8, 2014 9:51 am

The Obama administration will ask Congress for more than $2 billion Tuesday to address the urgent humanitarian crisis along the U.S. border with Mexico.

In the past nine months, more than 50,000 children and teenagers have crossed that border illegally on their own, most from Central America. By law, the administration can't deport those young people until they have an immigration hearing — a process that can take years.

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Veterans
4:48 pm
Mon July 7, 2014

Wait Times for VA Health Care Growing in Connecticut

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal wants the VA to explain why veterans are waiting longer than 30 days to be seen in Connecticut and nationwide.

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Politics
7:02 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Another Day, Another Reason For Voters To Loathe Congress

The House Ethics Committee dismayed government watchdogs by reducing disclosure requirements for privately paid trips taken by members of Congress.
Matthias Schrader AP

Originally published on Tue July 1, 2014 7:25 pm

Congressional approval ratings are at rock bottom. Why would members pull a stunt likely to make them even more unpopular than they already are?

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Immigration
3:05 pm
Tue July 1, 2014

Immigration Reform Fails in Congress While Thousands of Migrants Flood The Border

Congressman Jim Himes.
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

A surge in migrants to the U.S. southwest border has prompted President Obama to ask Congress for $2 billion in emergency funding to combat the problem. His request comes one year after a Senate immigration reform bill was passed, and then stalled, in the U.S. House. 

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Vanishing Bees
12:37 pm
Fri June 27, 2014

White House Task Force To Save Bees Stirs Hornet's Nest

A bumble bee gathers pollen in September 2007 on a sunflower at Quail Run Farm in Grants Pass, Ore., where farmer Tony Davis depends on them to pollinate crops. Bees are being wiped out by a mysterious condition known as colony collapse disorder.
Jeff Barnard AP

Originally published on Fri June 27, 2014 12:17 pm

When President Obama announced last week that he was creating a federal task force to investigate the nation's vanishing bee colonies, the moment provided newly minted Press Secretary Josh Earnest an opportunity to crack one of his first jokes on the job.

"When I walked out here today, I knew I was going to be handling a range of sensitive issues," he told reporters. "I didn't know I was going to be talking about the birds and the bees."

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White House
5:08 pm
Thu June 26, 2014

Obama Asks For $500 Million To Train, Equip Syrian Rebels

Rebel fighters drink tea on the front line of Ramouseh, near the Aleppo Artillery School. President Obama has requested $500 million to arm and train "moderate" Syrian rebel groups.
Hosam Katan Reuters/Landov

Originally published on Thu June 26, 2014 5:21 pm

President Obama has asked Congress for $500 million to train and equip moderate Syrian rebels who are seeking the ouster of Bashar Assad.

If Congress approves the plan, it would supplement a covert training and assistance program already being run by U.S. intelligence agencies, The Associated Press says.

The White House says in a statement that the rebels would be vetted before providing assistance, to ensure that U.S. equipment doesn't fall into the wrong hands.

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Domestic Violence
12:12 pm
Fri June 20, 2014

Blumenthal Proposal Aims to Fix Loophole in Restraining Order Law

On Tuesday, U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal introduced the Lori Jackson Domestic Violence Survivor Protection Act.
Office of U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal

U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal has introduced legislation aimed at protecting victims of domestic violence who obtain a temporary restraining order against their abuser.

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Immigration
9:55 pm
Wed June 11, 2014

Cantor's Loss In Va. Is Immigration Issue's Death Knell. Or Not.

House Majority Leader Eric Cantor's loss in his district's primary is seen by many as the end of a chance at immigration overhaul any time soon.
Charles Dharapak AP

Originally published on Thu June 12, 2014 11:04 am

As the smoke clears from the wreckage of the Republican establishment's monumental loss in the Virginia congressional primary, it appears that hopes of immigration overhaul have been snuffed out.

Economic professor Dave Brat, who beat House Majority Leader Eric Cantor on Tuesday, made immigration policy a major part of his argument against Cantor.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Fri May 30, 2014

The Present and Future of Gun Control In America

Sen. Chris Murphy
Chion Wolf WNPR

The latest mass shooting in California has left many questioning America’s gun control policies, and left a grieving father pleading for action from lawmakers -- not sympathy.

This hour, we look at the present and future of gun control in America. We also consider how to celebrate the 200th birthday of Samuel Colt, the man who revolutionized and popularized the gun.

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Veterans' Health
3:11 pm
Thu May 29, 2014

Blumenthal Wants Justice Department to Investigate Veterans Affairs

Connecticut's U.S Senator Richard Blumenthal
Credit Chion Wolf

Connecticut's congressional delegation has yet to hear from VA officials on how long veterans are waiting for appointments at the agency's hospitals and outpatient clinics in the state. 

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Veterans' Health
4:05 pm
Fri May 23, 2014

Connecticut Delegation Seeks VA Facilities Audits

Sen. Richard Blumenthal, left, and Rep. John Larson, right.
Senate Democrats/Center for American Progress

Connecticut's congressional delegation wants full details of audits conducted at Veterans Administration medical facilities, including six in the state. 

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Native American Mascots
12:27 pm
Thu May 22, 2014

Blumenthal, Murphy Urge NFL to Change Team's Name

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy are asking the NFL to change the name of the Washington, D.C. franchise.
Bernard Gagnon Wikimedia Commons

Senators Richard Blumenthal and Chris Murphy joined 48 other senators calling for the name of the NFL's Washington franchise to be changed. The letter to NFL Commissioner Roger Goodell referenced the NBA's response to the Donald Sterling controversy regarding comments Sterling made about African-Americans.

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Health Policy
10:01 am
Thu May 22, 2014

GOP Strategy To Run Against Health Law Hits Snags

Louisiana Governor Bobby Jindal delivers remarks during the the 40th annual Conservative Political Action Conference (CPAC) held in March 2013.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Thu May 22, 2014 8:49 am

Last year, the Republican playbook for keeping control of the House of Representatives in 2014 and winning the Senate consisted of a fairly simple strategy: Run against Obamacare.

But now that the 2014 races are starting to take shape, that strategy isn't looking quite so simple. Democrats are fighting back. They're focusing on Republican opposition to the health law's expansion of Medicaid as a part of their own campaigns.

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Kentucky Yankee In McConnell's Court
2:22 pm
Mon May 19, 2014

Connecticut Bell Factory Owner Trails McConnell In Kentucky Primary

Matt Bevin is running for the U.S. Senate in Kentucky, challenging Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell in Tuesday's primary.
Credit MattBevin.com

A Kentucky Tea Party candidate with Connecticut-ties has a tough primary facing him tomorrow.

Matt Bevin trails Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell by 20 points in a new poll. Connecticut residents might remember Bevin as the owner of the bell factory in East Hampton that burned down in 2012.

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Politics
1:48 pm
Mon May 12, 2014

Veteran Congressman Makes A Career-Threatening Mistake

Michigan Rep. John Conyers, at a congressional hearing last week. The Democrat and longtime congressman faces the prospect of not being on Michigan's August primary ballot after failing to present the required number of valid signatures.
Carolyn Kaster AP

Originally published on Mon May 12, 2014 3:27 pm

It's basically Politics 101. To get on the ballot in many states, candidates for office must first collect a designated number of valid signatures from voters, and present those petitions to election administrators.

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Connecticut First
5:07 pm
Wed May 7, 2014

Legislative Session Ends at Midnight; Lawmakers Push for Adoption Bill

Connecticut legislators are putting the finishing touches on their work—as this year's regular legislative session is scheduled to end at midnight tonight. While numerous bills still need approval from one chamber or another, many major pieces of legislation from this year's session have already been approved. The list includes a revised $19 billion dollar state budget for the fiscal year beginning July 1.

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Where We Live
9:00 am
Wed May 7, 2014

The Wheelhouse: Budgets, Bills, and Freedom of Information

Keith Phaneuf, budget reporter for The Connecticut Mirror
Credit Chion Wolf / WNPR

There are just hours left in the 2014 legislative session, which means it’s time for lawmakers to start cramming in bills. This hour, we discuss the messy state budget with The Connecticut Mirror’s budget guru Keith Phaneuf.

We also talk about Freedom of Information, something that was changed in the closing minutes of the last session.

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Primary Elections
8:04 am
Tue May 6, 2014

5 Things To Watch In Tuesday's Primaries

North Carolina Republican Senate hopeful Greg Brannon (left) greets Adam Love and his daughter Gwendolyn Love during a campaign event in Charlotte, N.C., on Monday.
Chuck Burton AP

Originally published on Tue May 6, 2014 11:00 am

Get ready for election season.

Tuesday's primaries in Indiana, North Carolina and Ohio serve as the kickoff for an intense two-month stretch that will go a long way toward outlining the shape of the midterm election landscape.

By the end of June, more than half the states will have conducted their primary elections. And the answers to some of the most important questions about the November elections will be clearer.

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Civil Rights
4:04 pm
Thu May 1, 2014

Effort To Force Treatment On Severely Mentally Ill Meets Resistance

Rep. Tim Murphy, R-Pa., speaks during a December 2013 news conference in Washington to discuss the introduction of a legislative package of major mental health reforms.
Pablo Martinez Monsivais AP

Originally published on Thu May 1, 2014 8:32 pm

Ed Kelley and his wife have three children. They live in a comfortable suburb of Baltimore. And for a long time their life seemed perfect.

"We were churchgoing; we were involved in the community. We had a very close-knit family all around us."

And he adored his 14-year-old son.

"He was funny, he was getting good grades, he loved playing sports; he was so humorous. Actually for the longest time he was sort of the center of the family."

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Big League Ousters
5:23 pm
Wed April 30, 2014

Sen. Reid: NFL Should Follow NBA's Lead Regarding Redskins Owner

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, a Democrat from Nevada.
Chip Somodevilla Getty Images

Originally published on Wed April 30, 2014 5:42 pm

Nevada Sen. Harry Reid says the NFL should consider ousting Washington Redskins owner Dan Snyder.

Snyder has been criticized — even by President Obama — over the name of his football team, which is considered a racial epithet against Native Americans.

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New York
9:38 am
Sat April 26, 2014

Rep. Michael Grimm To Face Criminal Charges, Lawyer Says

Rep. Michael Grimm (R-N.Y.), seen here last year, is expected to be indicted on criminal charges. His lawyer says Grimm has done nothing wrong.
Alex Wong Getty Images

Originally published on Sat April 26, 2014 11:43 am

Rep. Michael Grimm's lawyer says he expects the New York Republican will be indicted on criminal charges. The exact charges haven't been announced. The Staten Island lawmaker and former FBI agent, who was first elected to Congress in 2010, has been under investigation for campaign finance and fraud.

Grimm's attorney says his client is innocent and is the target of a vendetta on the part of federal authorities that has included "malicious leaks, violations of grand jury secrecy, and strong-arm tactics."

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Congress
3:31 pm
Tue April 22, 2014

Out Of Clout: Some States Brace For Washington Power Outage

Rep. John Dingell, D-Mich., the longest-serving member of Congress, is celebrated by colleagues, including Vice President Biden, on Capitol Hill in June 2013. A former chairman of the Energy and Commerce Committee, Dingell, now 87, announced in February that he will retire after this term.
J. Scott Applewhite AP

Originally published on Thu April 24, 2014 9:36 am

When the next Congress is sworn in, Iowa's congressional delegation will be unusually green. Precisely half of its lawmakers on Capitol Hill are retiring at the end of this session, meaning the state will be losing decades of clout and seniority in Washington, D.C.

And Iowa isn't even the biggest loser this year. California is losing two House Democrats with 40 years of experience each — Henry Waxman and George Miller — along with Republican House Armed Services Chairman Buck McKeon, who's been in Congress for more than two decades.

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Farm Bill
9:33 am
Tue March 18, 2014

Malloy, Boehner in Food Stamp Fight

Credit Joe Raedle/Getty Images News / Thinkstock

Governor Dannel Malloy has sharply criticized U.S. House Speaker John Boehner who accused Connecticut and other states of cheating the federal food stamp program.

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