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Tables turned, Breyer and Scalia quizzed as witnesses

WASHINGTON — It’s not every day a senator gets to quiz Supreme Court justices. Lindsey Graham of South Carolina asked about the corrosive effects of partisanship on judicial confirmations. Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut pushed for the high court’s oral arguments to be televised. Sen. Dick Durbin of Illinois asked about tougher judicial ethics rules. The […]

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Skepticism in DC could derail high-speed trains for state

WASHINGTON–The Obama Administration’s ambitious plan for a $53 billion national high-speed rail network appears to be veering off track, with tepid support from congressional leaders and skepticism expressed by outside experts. As lawmakers draft a 2012 budget agreement in the coming weeks, high-speed rail will almost certainly get shortchanged–if the program gets any money at […]

Posted inHealth, Money

Doctors’ groups ask super committee to consider medical liability reform

In case the super committee doesn’t already have enough on its plate, the Connecticut State Medical Society and other physician groups are asking the congressional deficit-reduction panel to tackle medical liability reform. The so-called super committee is charged with finding at least $1.2 trillion in budgetary savings before Thanksgiving. The 12-member panel is looking at […]

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Connecticut helps feed the lobbying machine in Washington

WASHINGTON–Whether despite the political dysfunction in Washington or because of it, Connecticut businesses, universities and non-profits are spending big to aggressively press their legislative priorities in the nation’s capital this year. More than 100 Connecticut companies and other organizations currently have lobbyists in Washington, pushing Congress and the Executive Branch for a wide range of […]

Posted inMoney, Politics

The Chrises set to be at same hearing next week, on opposite sides of dais

Connecticut’s U.S. Senate election isn’t for another year or so, but two of the candidates for that seat will have a chance to face off next week. Well, sort of. Ex-Rep. Chris Shays will once again be testifying before Congress on Tuesday about the findings of the Commission on Wartime Contracting, which Shays co-chaired. The […]

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Congress averts another crisis, and lurches toward the next

WASHINGTON–Lawmakers will limp back to Washington next week, bruised by another barely-averted government shutdown crisis and battered by sinking public approval ratings. But while many lawmakers agree that the latest fiscal fight was “embarrassing,” as one senator put it, it’s not clear this Congress can find any other way of doing business. The most recent […]

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House GOP boosts federal heating fund

WASHINGTON–House Republicans released a spending proposal Thursday that would provide about $3.4 billion for the Low Income Home Energy Assistance Program–a significant cut from the current funding level, but probably enough to cover the Connecticut heat aid program approved by three legislative committees this week. The House GOP plan, which has yet to win committee […]

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Planned Parenthood a target of House GOP inquiry

House Republicans have ramped up their campaign against Planned Parenthood, launching an official congressional investigation into the organization, which provides sexual and reproductive health care to women across the country. Rep. Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., chairman of a House oversight and investigations subcommittee, has asked Planned Parenthood for reams of documents about everything from its accounting […]

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Health lobbyists flocking the ‘super committee’

WASHINGTON–Hospitals have launched a pricey ad blitz. Medicaid recipients held an emotional rally on Capitol Hill. And doctors pitched their message in a letter laced with urgent pleas and dire warnings. The target of all this activity? The Joint Select Committee on Deficit Reduction, dubbed the “super committee” for its broad powers to reduce the […]

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CT delegation looks for ways to aid shellfish farmers hit by Irene

Two members of the Connecticut delegation introduced legislation today that would pave the way for shellfish farmers to be eligible for agriculture-related disaster aid programs. The “Shellfish Equity Act,” sponsored by Sens. Richard Blumenthal and Joseph Lieberman, would add shellfish to the list of “specialty crops” that are now covered by federal agriculture disaster relief […]