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Short week for Congress yields defense funding, railroad revival

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The U.S. House of Representatives was out and the Senate had a shortened work week because of the Veterans Day holiday, but there was still plenty of activity in Congress. The Senate approved a final defense bill that authorizes billions of dollars in spending on weapon systems developed in Connecticut. The Federal Railroad Administration took a big step forward on an ambitious overhaul of the rail system in the Northeast Corridor. Continue Reading →

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State Dept. official with West Hartford ties tasked to develop, sell Syria plan

Brett McGurk, left, with Secretary of State John Kerry in Vienna during talks with stakeholders about the Syrian refugee crisis.

WASHINGTON — Former West Hartford resident Brett McGurk is considered a leading expert at the State Department on the threats posed by the Islamic State and what the Obama administration is trying to do about them. But fighting international terrorism isn’t his only challenge. Now he’s been tasked to persuade skeptical lawmakers, including members of Connecticut’s congressional delegation, to back President Obama’s campaign against ISIS in Syria.
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CT lawmakers wary of Obama’s war powers request

President Obama

WASHINGTON – Connecticut lawmakers were skeptical and cautious in their response to President Obama’s request for authorization to expand the U.S. military campaign against the Islamic state, especially when it came to the president’s request to allow troops to operate on the ground for limited periods. Continue Reading →

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Murphy breaks Senate tradition with high-profile stands

Murphy  delivering a speech on the Senate floor.

WASHINGTON – With his fight for gun control, defense of the Affordable Care Act and clashes with President Obama on foreign policy, Sen. Chris Murphy broke with a Senate tradition that freshmen should be seen and not heard. “I don’t think there’s a waiting period anymore for freshmen,” he said. “My constituents did not elect me to be a shrinking violet.” (This is the seventh and final story in a series about the roles each member of the Connecticut congressional delegation played in the 113th Congress.) Continue Reading →

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Once a heated topic for CT delegation, war bill now stalled

WASHINGTON – Debating and deciding what authority President Obama has to conduct a war against and Islamic group known as ISIS was once a hot topic among lawmakers, including those representing Connecticut on Capitol Hill. But post-election, there’s a little sense of urgency, and little pushback on GOP demands that the issue be handled by the next Congress, which will be controlled by Republicans
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In 1st debate, Esty, Greenberg tangle on ethics, energy, foreign affairs

DANBURY — Connecticut’s 5th Congressional District candidates Elizabeth Esty and Mark Greenberg clashed on personal ethics, foreign affairs, energy policy and gun control Thursday during their first public forum. Continue Reading →

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