WNPR

Congress

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?

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.

Pages