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Murphy questions Tillerson on Russian dossier, says nomination in trouble

Secretary of state nominee Rex Tillerson answers questions during his confirmation hearing before the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

WASHINGTON – Sen. Chris Murphy, who says the nomination is in trouble, on Wednesday questioned Rex Tillerson, Donald Trump’s pick to head the State Department, about a dossier of unverified allegations that Russian operatives have been helping the president-elect for years and have compromising information about him. “The report is as earth-shattering as it is thinly sourced,” Murphy said. “We all pray it is untrue.” Continue Reading →

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Lawmakers look to speed deportation of undocumented convicts

U.S. Rep. Joe Courtney, front, speaks during a press conference. He is joined by Chadwick's mother, Wendy Hartling, and her lawyer, Chester Fairlie, left, and U.S. Sen. Richard Blumenthal, right.

More than a year after an undocumented immigrant fatally stabbed a Norwich woman, two Connecticut lawmakers announced Monday they plan to introduce legislation in Congress to expedite the deportation of undocumented immigrants who have committed a violent crime or pose a threat to public safety. Continue Reading →

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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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Murphy named to five Senate appropriations panels

Washington – Sen. Chris Murphy said he’s been named to five Senate Appropriations Committee panels.
He will sit on appropriations subcommittees with authority over the budgets of the Department of Transportation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development; the State Department, the Commerce and Justice departments, military construction and the Department of Veterans Affairs and a panel that has jurisdiction over Congress’ operating budget. Continue Reading →

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DeLauro, Esty seek to stop U.S. trade with Brunei

Washington – Saying Brunei’s newly adopted penal code violates the rights of women and minorities, including gay, lesbian and transgendered people, Reps. Rosa DeLauro, D-3rd District and Elizabeth Esty, D-5th District, joined a group of lawmakers Thursday who are insisting the United States drop all trade with that country. Continue Reading →

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