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Congress

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The Pentagon has announced it will send additional Special Operations forces to Iraq and Syria to help defeat the so-called Islamic State. The news shouldn't be a surprise according to Connecticut's U.S. Senator Chris Murphy, but he said it is concerning.

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Some companies are trying to keep ahead of negative online reviews by suing or threatening consumers.

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Will state lawmakers have a budget deal in place to be thankful for on Thursday? Our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse will bring you updates from the state capitol where time ticks away for an agreement on how to fix the state budget.

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Pfizer's proposed merger with Allergan, which will take the pharmaceutical giant's tax domicile overseas, has provoked a new round of angst about corporate defections.

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In a 289 to 137 vote last Thursday, the U.S. House of Representatives approved a bill that would tighten the vetting process for refugees from Syria and Iraq. The measure passed despite a veto threat from President Barack Obama -- a threat Republican House Speaker Paul Ryan says "baffles" him .

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Connecticut Representative Joe Courtney has been pressed to defend his vote last week with the Republican majority in the House to strengthen the vetting procedure for Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

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A nationwide shortage of saline solution, a fluid commonly used in I.V. bags in hospitals, is prompting response from the U.S. Senate. Saline solution is, essentially, sterile salt water . It's used in hospitals to hydrate patients and to mix and dilute medication.

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Two members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation voted with the Republican majority in the House of Representatives Thursday to strengthen the vetting procedure for Syrian refugees entering the U.S.

The House of Representatives has easily passed a GOP-authored bill to restrict the admission of Iraqi and Syrian refugees to America by requiring extra security procedures. The bill — called the American Security Against Foreign Enemies Act of 2015, or the American SAFE Act of 2015 — would require the secretary of Homeland Security, the head of the FBI and the director of national intelligence to sign off on every individual refugee from Iraq and Syria, affirming he or she is not a threat....

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Connecticut Senator Chris Murphy is calling for the U.S. to demand higher security from its European partners around the visa waiver program.

The Senate passed a bill at 3:12 a.m. ET Friday that would raise the debt ceiling and fund the government into 2017. This means that there would be no fiscal standoffs and threats of government shutdown for more than a year. The measure is now on its way to the White House for President Obama's signature, NPR's Ailsa Chang reports for the Newscast unit: "For months, there was real concern the looming Nov. 3 deadline to lift the debt ceiling was going to send Congress into crisis mode, right...

Wisconsin Rep. Paul Ryan was easily elected to serve as the 54th House speaker Thursday, ending a tumultuous few weeks for the Republican House majority as it scrambled to find a replacement for outgoing Speaker John Boehner of Ohio. Ryan, a former Republican vice presidential nominee, got 236 votes — well above the 218 threshold to become speaker. After the vote, Ryan thanked Boehner for his service and said his election to the top spot in the House is about "wiping the slate clean." For...

Speaker John Boehner gave farewell remarks on the House floor Thursday, picking up a box of tissues as he prepared to speak, a nod to his tendency to cry in emotional moments. Officially announcing his intent to resign as speaker and the representative from Ohio, Boehner said he leaves "with no regrets, no burdens. If anything, I leave the way I started, just a regular guy, humbled by the chance to do a big job." He spoke for 10 minutes about his life and rise in government, accomplishments...

About 55 miles east of Capitol Hill, one small business — International Green Structures — is trying to stretch beyond its base in Stevensville, Md., to go global. IGS , which has about 50 factory workers, makes fiberboard out of compressed wheat. The panels, used to build durable housing, are both "green" and red-white-and-blue-American-made. But IGS lost a $5-million project in Nigeria because it couldn't get financing from this country's now-lapsed Export-Import Bank, according to Marjorie...

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U.S. Senator Chris Murphy is making another push for mental health reform in Congress that he hopes will overhaul and strengthen the mental health care system. He joins us from Washington, D.C. to explain the legislation and to discuss some recent news on the U.S. policy on Syria and use of drones. We also talk to U.S. Senator Richard Blumenthal about an Obama administration proposal to help address Puerto Rico's fiscal challenges.

This post was updated at 3:10 p.m. ET House Republicans have voted to elect Wisconsin Republican Paul Ryan as the party's nominee to serve as the next speaker of the House. "This begins a new day in the House of Representatives," Ryan said, speaking briefly to reporters after Wednesday's vote. "Tomorrow, we are turning the page. We are not going to have a House that looked like it looked the last few years. ... Our party has lost its vision and we're going to replace it with a vision."...

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A mandate to install new safety equipment on railroads, called Positive Train Control , may be delayed by three to five years if a vote passes in the Senate. The House approved a bill delaying the measure.

Cross your fingers. Congress is trying to do something it was supposed to do back in 2007: agree on a rewrite of the Elementary and Secondary Education Act. It's not controversial to say the law is in desperate need of an update. The ESEA is hugely important, not just to our nation's schools but to the social fabric. It pours billions of federal dollars each year into classrooms that serve low-income students. When President Lyndon Johnson first signed it in 1965, he declared the law "a major...

Railroads warn they may have to shut down unless Congress extends an end-of-the-year deadline to install new safety equipment called Positive Train Control . PTC is a complex system that monitors a train's location and speed, then automatically slows down or stops a locomotive if the engineer doesn't respond to a danger warning. Congress required passenger and freight railroads to install PTC in 2008, after a Metrolink passenger train collided with a freight train in Los Angeles , killing 25...

Thursday was one of the most important days of Hillary Clinton's political career. The Democratic presidential candidate faced grilling for more than eight hours over the 2012 terror attack on the diplomatic outpost in Benghazi, Libya, that claimed the lives of four Americans, including U.S. Ambassador Chris Stevens. The questions from the 12 House Select Committee members — seven Republicans and five Democrats — split mostly along partisan lines. Republicans were busy trying to defend the...

Updated 10:40 a.m. EST Paul Ryan made it all but official Tuesday night. He told his fellow Republicans he had returned from a 10-day recess visit home to Wisconsin with a new attitude toward being speaker of the House. After weeks of being ostensibly uninterested and even hostile to the idea, Ryan had found a reason to seek the most powerful post in Congress and the second spot in the presidential succession (after vice president). "I came to the conclusion that this is a very dire moment,...

The House is back for its first business day after a 10-day break, and the first item of business is a big one: finding a leader. Speaker John Boehner has said he is resigning at month's end. The Republican conference met to choose a successor, but Boehner ended the session when his No. 2, Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy, withdrew as a candidate . There's no shortage of potential candidates . After all, the post is the most powerful position in Congress and second only to the vice president in...

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Getting around by car is the most common way people get to work and back in Connecticut -- and the state's infrastructure isn't set up as well as it could be to support the volume. For many drivers, that means a challenging commute every day.

Don't expect Congress to shell out any money when it comes to replacing aging voting equipment. That's what Christy McCormick, chairwoman of the U.S. Election Assistance Commission (EAC), says her agency is telling state and local election officials, even though a bipartisan presidential commission warned last year of an "impending crisis." "We're telling them that, from what we understand, there won't be any more federal funding coming to help them," McCormick said in an interview with NPR....

Former House Speaker Dennis Hastert is expected to plead guilty later this month to charges that he agreed to pay $3.5 million to cover up allegations of misconduct and then lied about it to authorities, according to his lawyers. Reporting from outside the federal courthouse in Chicago, NPR's Cheryl Corley tells our Newscast unit that the alleged wrongdoing "occurred decades ago when Hastert was a history teacher and a coach at Yorkville High School about 50 miles southwest of Chicago."...

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