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Politics

Updated May 14, 2021 at 12:44 PM ET

House lawmakers have reached a deal on a bipartisan commission to investigate the Jan. 6 attack on the U.S. Capitol by supporters of then-President Donald Trump and to recommend changes to protect the complex further.

Rep. Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., chair of the House Homeland Security Committee, and Rep. John Katko, R-N.Y., the panel's ranking member, will introduce legislation Friday to set up the commission.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 10:17 AM ET

GOP lawmakers have chosen Rep. Elise Stefanik of New York as the No. 3 Republican in the House, anointing a Trump loyalist to a leadership position charged with delivering party messaging.

House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy, R-Calif., announced her election in a tweet.

Image courtesy of the iQuilt Partnership.

This hour, a look into a future that might be for the city of Hartford. 

Some planners want to bury I-91 along its path between the Connecticut River and downtown Hartford.  

They would reimagine the levee underneath the highway as a green hill overlooking the river. 

They envision extensive development in nearby parts of Hartford with restored water views.

Connecticut First District Congressman John Larson is no stranger to big plans for highways in the Hartford area.  He sees a unique opportunity for the city.

Updated May 12, 2021 at 3:38 PM ET

House Republicans on Wednesday removed Rep. Liz Cheney of Wyoming as conference chair in retaliation for her unyielding criticism of former President Donald Trump, his continued false claims of a stolen election, his role in the Jan. 6 riot and his future in the Republican Party.

"I will do everything I can to ensure that the former president never again gets anywhere near the Oval Office," Cheney told reporters after her ouster, which was done by a voice vote.

With a 50-50 Senate and a paper-thin Democratic majority in the House, Louisa Terrell would have a tough job no matter what.

But the ongoing coronavirus pandemic has created a lot of unique challenges for the director of the White House Office of Legislative Affairs.

"You're not able to do the pull-asides you can do in an Easter egg roll [event], when people are there with their families — a great way to connect," Terrell told NPR. "Members are not roaming the halls all the time."

Updated May 11, 2021 at 7:14 PM ET

The Senate Rules Committee on Tuesday held a contentious markup of legislation to revamp the nation's voting and campaign finance rules, laying bare the deep partisan divide over how elections should be run.

A series of party-line votes on amendments made clear there is little ground for compromise, and the bill's fate is very much in doubt in the upper chamber.

Updated May 14, 2021 at 3:59 PM ET

In 2018, then-House Speaker Paul Ryan sat next to his friend and ally Rep. Elise Stefanik and predicted a bright future for the New York Republican.

"This is the future of the Republican Party, the future of our country — people like Elise," Ryan told CBS.

City of Stamford

A former major league baseball player and longtime Mets manager is taking a swing at running for mayor of Stamford. Bobby Valentine announced he will challenge incumbent Democratic Mayor David Martin and Democratic state Rep. Caroline Simmons as an independent.

Democratic legislative leaders in Connecticut seem headed for a showdown with Democratic Governor Ned Lamont over a proposed millionaire’s tax in a state with some of the highest income inequality in the country.

Connecticut House Endorses Early Voting In Bipartisan Vote

May 6, 2021
Mark Pazniokas / CT Mirror

House Democrats and Republicans clashed in dueling news conferences Thursday about whether expanding absentee voting would lead to fraud, then they largely united behind another ballot access issue: endorsing a constitutional amendment allowing in-person early voting.

In a breakthrough for an 8-year-long effort, two senators behind legislation to revamp the way the military handles sexual assault cases and other serious crimes say the bill has the bipartisan votes to gain passage.

CHION WOLF / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

This hour, we speak with Connecticut Comptroller Kevin Lembo on his public option proposal to give more people the chance to join a health insurance program overseen by the state.

The Connecticut Partnership Plan is already offered to municipal workers and school employees. 

But how would he pay for it?

And how would he avoid frightening away insurance companies that are big employers in the state?

Updated May 6, 2021 at 2:31 PM ET

Florida Gov. Ron DeSantis signed into law Thursday new election legislation that places restrictions on ballot drop boxes and residents' ability to vote by mail.

The governor said the changes amount to what he thinks are "the strongest election integrity measures in the country."

President Biden's address on Wednesday was a night of many firsts for a modern presidential speech to lawmakers, from the barrier-breaking two women behind him to the required face coverings and distanced seating arrangements that have become hallmarks of the coronavirus pandemic.

Updated April 29, 2021 at 12:01 AM ET

Federal investigators in Manhattan executed a search warrant Wednesday at Rudy Giuliani's apartment as part of a probe into the former New York City mayor's activities involving Ukraine, his attorney told NPR.

Representative Sean Scanlon
CHION WOLF / CONNECTICUT PUBLIC RADIO

This hour, it affects virtually everyone in the state of Connecticut in one way or another, but it can be difficult to understand.  

The state budget decides how much we pay in taxes, and it helps determine the level of resources for important services like education, care for elderly people, and public health.  

We dive into the politics and process of funding state government.

What do you care about?

President Biden is set to address a joint session of Congress for the first time on Wednesday night, on the eve of his 100th day in office. He'll be delivering the address later into his term than most presidents have traditionally done so, giving him a bigger window to draw from as he looks to highlight early accomplishments.

The White House announced Tuesday that President Biden is nominating as director of U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement Sheriff Ed Gonzalez of Harris County, Texas, a vocal critic of elements of former President Donald Trump's immigration enforcement policies.

Gonzalez is the second such critic to be selected by Biden for a senior position in the Department of Homeland Security, following the nomination two weeks ago of Tucson, Ariz., Police Chief Chris Magnus to lead U.S. Customs and Border Protection.

President Biden will require federal contractors to pay their employees a minimum wage of $15 an hour starting March 30, 2022, senior administration officials say — a hike that will benefit a few hundred thousand people and underscore the broader Democratic push to raise the federal pay floor to the same level.

Biden plans to sign an executive order on Tuesday that will kick off the rulemaking process for the higher wage, the officials told reporters Monday.

Updated April 26, 2021 at 5:03 PM ET

In a major foray into gun rights, the Supreme Court on Monday agreed to review a case testing how far states may go in regulating whether an individual may carry a gun outside the home.

Before being elected president, Joe Biden promised he could accomplish a lot of things in his first 100 days in office.

We gathered a number of those priorities here, two days after he was declared the winner of the 2020 election.

If President Biden's $2 trillion infrastructure and jobs plan is going to become a reality, it will very likely need the vote of every Democrat in the evenly divided Senate.

That simple fact puts a bright spotlight on West Virginia Sen. Joe Manchin, a moderate Democrat who represents a deep-red Republican state — a place that Donald Trump carried in the past two elections by some 40 percentage points.

Capping nearly two weeks of talks between Democrats and Republicans, the Senate approved legislation on Thursday to ramp up law enforcement efforts to better protect the Asian American and Pacific Islander community from hate crimes.

The move marks a rare moment of bipartisan unity needed to approve the Senate legislation despite a new political era marked by increasingly bitter party divisions.

The U.S. House of Representatives has once again voted on a bill to grant statehood to Washington, D.C., and enfranchise more than 712,000 Americans, a cause that enjoys unprecedented support but still faces an uphill battle in the U.S. Senate.

Updated April 21, 2021 at 4:49 PM ET

With the verdict against former Minneapolis police officer Derek Chauvin now in for the murder of George Floyd, attention is turning to Congress and whether lawmakers can meet the growing demand from across the nation for meaningful changes to policing.

Keith Phaneuf / CTMirror.org

This hour, we speak with the top Republican in the state house the next steps after a fight in the state House over a vaccine bill. The proposal would end the practice of allowing parents to avoid vaccination for their children by claiming religious objections. The house approved the measure, but it has yet to come up for a vote in the senate. Also, is the governor doing the right thing, by planning to end most COVID-19 restrictions next month?  

Bernardo Wolff / Creative Commons

Americans like to believe we live in a meritocracy but the odds are stacked in favor of the already lucky and fortunate. We congratulate the "winners" and humiliate the "losers," who are told to better themselves or carry the burden of their failure. 

The 2016 election of Donald Trump was decades in the making.  Like other populist leaders around the world, Trump gave voice to the resentment directed toward “elites” who devalue the hard work and dignity of workers without college degrees.

Rep. William Petit, left, and Rep. Jonathan Steinberg debate a bill curtailing religious exemptions for school-age vaccinations.
Mark Pazniokas / CTMirror.org

The state House of Representatives approved a bill early Tuesday that would remove Connecticut’s religious exemption from mandatory school vaccinations, a major step for a hot-button proposal that has been raised three years in a row with no vote in either chamber until this week.

Three weeks after it was signed into law, local election officials in Georgia are still trying to understand all the implications of the state's controversial election overhaul.

In a series of interviews, election officials said that while the Republican-led measure has some good provisions, many felt sidelined as the legislation was being debated, and believe that parts of it will make Georgia elections more difficult and expensive.

Updated April 15, 2021 at 1:43 AM ET

A House committee has voted to move forward with a bill that would establish a commission to develop proposals to help repair the lasting effects of slavery. The vote came nearly three decades after the bill was was first introduced.

Fresh debate over the issue of reparations for the descendants of enslaved people comes amid a national reckoning over race and justice.

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