Connecticut’s Washington Week

In the news: Blumenthal’s Iran decision, Malloy’s parley with Amtrak and congressional hearings involving big insurance mergers.

Blumenthal’s decision helps cement nuclear deal with Iran

Thanks to last-minute decisions by Connecticut Sen. Richard Blumenthal and several other Senate Democrats to back the Iran nuclear deal, President Obama was able to muster enough support to block a GOP Senate resolution disapproving the agreement. Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell vowed to hold another vote in the Senate next week. Pact opponents, including presidential hopeful Donald Trump and former Alaska governor Sarah Palin, both Republicans, continued to attack the agreement on Capitol Hill. And partisan fighting over the pact continued in the House, with largely symbolic votes against the agreement.

Washington logoMalloy, Amtrak, the feds more forward on upgrading Hartford rail line

Gov. Dannel P. Malloy traveled to Washington this week to meet with federal and Amtrak officials in an effort to mend frayed relations and move forward on a commuter rail project along the line from New Haven to Hartford to Springfield.  The enmity between the governor and Amtrak was caused by delays and cost overruns on the project. There was an agreement to work together more cordially, but details are to come later.

Hearing provides forum for attacks on health insurance mergers

The House Judiciary Committee held a hearing to review consolidation in the health care industry, including proposed mergers between Aetna and Humana and between Anthem and Cigna. The hearing gave some politically powerful opponents of the pact, the American Medical Association and the American Hospital Association, a platform to attack the mergers. Congressional Republicans, who say health care industry consolidation is an unwelcome effect of the Affordable Care Act, have not weighed in on the mergers yet. Nor have Democrats.

Murphy urges U.S. to take in 50,000 Syrian refugees

Sen. Chris Murphy, D-Conn., came back from a trip to the Middle East that included a visit to a Syrian refugee camp in Jordan with the conviction that the United States should take in at least 50,000 of those displaced people. The United States, however, has agreed to accept about 10,000 Syrian refugees.

Biden still debating run; CT delegation committed to Clinton

Vice President Biden continued to express uncertainty over a possible White House bid. Most members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation – all Democrats – have already endorsed Hillary Clinton.

About Ana Radelat

Ana is a longtime Washington correspondent who has won numerous awards, including from The Associated Press and Gannett, has written for more than a dozen newspapers, including USAToday; The (Jackson, Miss.) Clarion-Ledger; the Shreveport (La.) Times; and the Montgomery (Ala.) Advertiser. She’s also been a regular contributor to other publications, including the Miami Herald and Advertising Age. Some of the stories Ana has broken focused on the strategies of disgraced lobbyist Jack Abramoff, former Sen. Trent Lott’s fall from power and questionable Hurricane Katrina contracts. A regular contributor to WNPR, Connecticut Public Radio, a partner of The Mirror, Ana is a graduate of the University of Maryland School of Journalism. E-mail her at aradelat@ctmirror.org.

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