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Congress

Connecticut Lags in Use of Sandy Relief Dollars

May 30, 2013

More than six months have passed since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state region and many people are still struggling. Money from the congressional Sandy relief bill is already helping those in New York and New Jersey. But Connecticut lags behind.

In Fairfield Beach, you can hear the constant whir of construction. Some recently raised homes look like they’re standing on long stilts 12 or 14 feet above ground. Many others are marked for demolition or are already empty lots.

On some streets, things look normal, until --

It’s been five months since Superstorm Sandy devastated the tri-state area. And now, New York, New Jersey and Connecticut are working on preparing for the next storm. Congress has allocated some money for that purpose, but very little of that will go to Connecticut.

Diane Orson

The U.S. Postal Service has announced plans to reduce operations at two Connecticut mail processing plants this summer. That’s earlier than anyone expected, and could affect more than a thousand workers. 

There’s been talk for a long time about closing or cutting back operations at postal facilities in Wallingford and Stamford. But last year, USPS officials assured workers – and CT’s Congressional delegation -  that nothing would happen before 2014.

Sequester has consequences for the environment, too

Mar 11, 2013

As the United States Congress nears its deadline for cutting spending, the country faces a sequester, or 85 billion dollars in across-the-board spending cuts that would take effect this year. The public debate over the impacts of the sequester have focused on defense and education cuts, but funding for environmental programs is also at risk. WNPR’s Neena Satija reports.

Borman 818, creative commons

So, let’s say Where We Live was like the federal budget, and because of some self-imposed deadline, our show was subject to a “sequester” -  A cut of 2.3%. 

Well, you’d lose about 1 and a quarter minutes off the show. Doesn’t seem too bad, right?  But what if it was completely arbitrary - cutting the first minute that explains what we’re talking about, or the precise moment our guest Bill Curry says something that might change your world.  Doesn’t sound the the best way to trim things, huh?

State of the Union 2013 Reactions

Feb 26, 2013
CPBN Media Lab

During this year's State of the Union Address, President Obama discussed a long list of hard-hitting governmental issues. Live in front of Congress, he shared the nation's goals for creating cheaper and more efficient energy sources, preventing American businesses from outsourcing jobs and establishing more affordable healthcare; and that's just the tip of the iceberg.

DoNotLick

http://cptv.vo.llnwd.net/o2/ypmwebcontent/John%20Foley.WAV

On December 31, doctors will experience a 30% decrease in reimbursements through Medicare and Tricare,  the federal programs that provide care for people over 65 years of age and active and retired members of the military, unless Congress acts to stop it.

In 1997, Congress created a formula that tied increases in physician payments from  Medicare and Tricare to economic growth, a formula that leaves a shortfall in payments to doctors when health care costs rise faster than the nation's economic growth. 

As congress readies itself for its next term, Congressman John Larson may be out of a formal leadership position with his party.  WNPR's Jeff Cohen reports that Larson is the fourth-ranking Democrat in the House of Representatives -- and it's a job he has to give up at the end of the year. Larson holds the title of head of the Democratic caucus.  But according to the Connecticut Mirror, that role is term limited.

Chion Wolf

Andrew Roraback is the Republican nominee for the open Congressional seat in the 5th District...and he’s a bit stuck.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Although national Democrats are running ads in Connecticut connecting Republican Andrew Roraback to the tea party, his opponent Elizabeth Esty distanced herself from the attacks. "I don't say that and I've said I don't say that," said Esty. She added that if a Republican is elected from Connecticut's 5th District, "What you've done is added another vote, added more support at the national level for the national (Tea Party) agenda."

Esty pointed to a larger problem with the Citizens United ruling and campaign finance.

Photo by Chion Wolf

Congressman Joe Courtney has sponsored a bill that could help veterans who are in school or planning to enroll using the Post 9-11 GI bill. The legislation would change how education funding is classified from the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Two years ago, Republican Linda McMahon ran for an open U.S. Senate seat in Connecticut, spent $50 million of her own money in the process, and lost.

In an otherwise Republican year, the former top executive at World Wrestling Entertainment was easily beaten by Democrat Richard Blumenthal.

Now, McMahon is trying again — running for the seat of outgoing Sen. Joe Lieberman, an independent.

(I)NTERVIEW - Chris Shays

Jul 31, 2012
CPBN Media Lab

Christopher Shays is a former U.S. Congressman from Connecticut’s 4th district. He is looking to return to Congress, this time as a U.S. Senator. Shays was a member of the Peace Corps from 1968 to 1970. It was during his time with the corps in Fiji that he met his future wife, Betsi. In 1974, Shays was elected to Connecticut’s House of Representatives. He spent thirteen years in this office. He won a special election in 1987 for a the vacant seat in the U.S. House of Representatives.

(I)NTERVIEW - Susan Bysiewicz

Jul 31, 2012

Former Connecticut Secretary of State Susan Bysiewicz is looking to become Connecticut’s next United States Senator. From her humble beginnings on a farm in Middletown, Bysiewicz dedicated herself throughout her years of study and has earned several impressive law degrees. After completing her undergraduate education at Yale University, Bysiewicz continued on to Duke University’s School of Law.

Congressional Delegation Reacts to SCOTUS Ruling

Jun 29, 2012
Marty Stone (Flickr Creative Commons)

The Supreme Court’s validation of the health care law did nothing to end the bitter debate in Congress over the Affordable Care Act. In fact, the decision may have hardened positions.

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