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Congress

It's going to be another ugly fall in Washington.

The federal government runs out of money on Oct. 1, unless spending authority is granted to agencies for the new fiscal year. If Congress can't pass its spending bills by then, most of the government will shut down.

It's no empty threat. Many who watch the budget process closely think there's a very good chance that's exactly what's going to happen.

Finally, the federal HR department has released the health rule much of Capitol Hill has been waiting for.

There's now an explanation from the Office of Personnel Management on how members of Congress and much of their staff will get their health insurance starting next year.

Mark Pazniokas/CT Mirror, Chion Wolf/WNPR, Kris Krüg/PopTech

Earlier this year, Governor Dannel Malloy named Edith Prague the Commissioner of the state’s Department on Aging.

The 87-year-old previously served as state representative, state senator and was even the commissioner of aging once before under Governor Lowell Weicker.

We sat down with Edith Prague to talk about her new job, her political career, and one job she doesn’t want.

"I wouldn’t go to Washington if my life depended on it," said Prague.

Chion Wolf

Secretary of State John Kerry is only six-months into his new job - and he’s brought two major opponents together in Washington.

"We’re here today because the Israeli people and the Palestinian people both have leaders willing to heed the call of history," said Kerry yesterday.

Today, it’s our weekly news roundtable The Wheelhouse and we talk with NPR’s longtime Political Junkie Ken Rudin about the peace talks, Congressional support for the NSA surveillance program, gridlock and more.

Obama Proposes Cuts In Corporate Tax Rates

Jul 30, 2013

U.S. home prices continue to surge. The Standard & Poor’s/Case-Shiller index out today shows a 12 percent increase in May compared to a year ago.

Low interest rates and an improving job market are boosting demand for homes and driving prices up.

President Obama is out with a plan that he says will improve the job market even more. The president is touring an Amazon distribution center in Chattanooga, Tenn. to announce a so-called “grand bargain” to overhaul the corporate tax system.

Thomas Good, Wikimedia Commons; SROPhotos, Flickr Creative Commo

Are you ready for the 2014 gubernatorial election? We don't know if we are, but we're wading into it anyway after Senate Minority Leader John McKinney announced his bid for the governor's mansion.

Blumenthal, Murphy Endorse Obama's Climate Change Plan

Jul 19, 2013
Samaia Hernandez

The freshman Congresswoman is getting big money from outside the state, building up an early lead over challenger Mark Greenberg.

With a July 1 deadline looming, it seems unlikely that Congress will be able to stop interest rates on new federal student loans from doubling.  But there may be time to address the situation before classes begin next fall.

About 7 ½ million students nationwide pay for a portion of their college tuition through subsidized Stafford Student loans. Right now, interest rates will go from 3.4% to 6.8% on July 1st.

"There is a window of opportunity for Congress to still act."

Photo by Catie Talarski

There'a a push among federal legislators to award a Congressional Gold Medal to the last segregated Hispanic unit in the U.S. military. 

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?

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