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taxes

Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly give unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

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In a move that signals a shift in the health care market, CVS/Health announced a $69 billion deal to buy Aetna - the third largest insurer in the nation. This would be one of the biggest health care deals of all time, and would leave Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini with a sweet $500 million payout.

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WNPR’s Jeff Cohen and Ryan Caron King are back on the ground in Puerto Rico.

This hour: an update from The Island Next Door. We get the latest on local recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

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Reaction to passage in the Senate of the Republicans’ tax agenda has been swift in Connecticut. Both Connecticut senators, along with all of their Democratic colleagues, opposed the bill, which was passed at 2:00 am Saturday morning, with no hearings. 

Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration.

The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans continued maneuvering to pass their overhaul of the nation's tax code on Friday, possibly working around concerns by stern deficit hawks after an official estimate on Thursday said that the economic growth spurred by the plan would still leave a $1 trillion hole in the deficit.

Republicans lawmakers are considering a federal budget "trigger" that would raise taxes if proposed tax cuts don't deliver the economic growth they have promised.

But the proposal is generating a lot of pushback from critics, especially conservatives.

The so-called trigger mechanism would be a legislative provision to rescind corporate tax cuts by as much as $350 billion if revenue targets are not met, Bloomberg News reports.

Graduate students around the country walked out of their classes, office hours, and research labs to protest the House Republican tax plan Wednesday.

"This plan is going to be disastrous for higher ed," said Jack Nicoludis, a Harvard graduate student in chemistry, who helped organize a protest on the campus. He said the bill would more than double his taxes.

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Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced this week that he will not be seeking a third term. This leaves two huge holes to fill - AG and Governor - with no clear front-runners.

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Today's Scramble will be another all-call show. We won't have any guests -  just you and your calls to Colin. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been a hectic few weeks on Capitol Hill, but the Thanksgiving recess means a bit of rest for lawmakers and a chance for us to check in with a member of the Connecticut delegation.

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The House of Representatives passed a 440-page tax bill Thursday that was introduced two short weeks ago. Among other things, the bill would remove deductions  important to people with big medical expenses and college tuitions and ultimately hit hardest those making $75,000 or less. 

Senate Republicans hope to vote after Thanksgiving on a sweeping tax overhaul plan that they say will cut taxes for nearly every individual and family in America. The bill calls for those cuts to last only for the next eight years, unless history is a guide.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s Commissioner of Revenue Services says Republicans’ efforts to reform the federal tax system are fundamentally flawed. 

Congressional Republicans aim to take critical steps Thursday toward fulfilling their pledge to overhaul the nation's tax code by the end of the year.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to approve sweeping legislation to cut taxes for most individuals and businesses on the same day that Senate Republicans are set to unveil their own legislative vision for taxes. The dueling proposals are part of a broader plan that GOP leaders hope will end with both chambers passing a compromise tax bill by the end of the year.

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