Congress

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

Transcript

AUDIE CORNISH, HOST:

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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

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. 

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. 

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.

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. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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.

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. 

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.

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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

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.

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."

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.

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.

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.

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.

Rep. Paul Ryan, chairman of the House Budget Committee, used to have a habit of describing the American people in two categories. There were the "makers" — people paying taxes — and the "takers" — people getting government benefits.

Today, the Wisconsin Republican says he was wrong, and that the country needs to overhaul how it thinks about poverty. In his new book, The Way Forward: Renewing the American Idea, he offers ways to redirect federal spending to fighting poverty.

  College costs have reached emergency status for many Americans.

In today’s Congressional Corner, Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the industry needs a paradigm shift.

Pages