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taxes

Wealthy Americans may get a new conduit for political money in the tax overhaul bill now being reconciled on Capitol Hill.

A small provision in the House version of the bill would let big donors secretly give unlimited amounts to independent political groups — and write off the contributions as charitable gifts.

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In a move that signals a shift in the health care market, CVS/Health announced a $69 billion deal to buy Aetna - the third largest insurer in the nation. This would be one of the biggest health care deals of all time, and would leave Aetna CEO Mark Bertolini with a sweet $500 million payout.

Ryan Caron King / WNPR

WNPR’s Jeff Cohen and Ryan Caron King are back on the ground in Puerto Rico.

This hour: an update from The Island Next Door. We get the latest on local recovery efforts in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. 

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Reaction to passage in the Senate of the Republicans’ tax agenda has been swift in Connecticut. Both Connecticut senators, along with all of their Democratic colleagues, opposed the bill, which was passed at 2:00 am Saturday morning, with no hearings. 

Updated Dec. 2 at 11:57 a.m. ET

The Senate narrowly approved a $1.4 trillion tax overhaul early Saturday morning following a day of procedural delays and frustration.

The legislation, which would cut the top corporate tax rate to 20 percent and lower taxes for most individuals, narrowly passed in a vote of 51-49. Tennessee Republican Bob Corker was the only Republican to vote against the legislation, joining every Democrat and both independents in opposing the sweeping overhaul of the nation's tax laws.

Updated at 11:20 a.m. ET

Senate Republicans continued maneuvering to pass their overhaul of the nation's tax code on Friday, possibly working around concerns by stern deficit hawks after an official estimate on Thursday said that the economic growth spurred by the plan would still leave a $1 trillion hole in the deficit.

Republicans lawmakers are considering a federal budget "trigger" that would raise taxes if proposed tax cuts don't deliver the economic growth they have promised.

But the proposal is generating a lot of pushback from critics, especially conservatives.

The so-called trigger mechanism would be a legislative provision to rescind corporate tax cuts by as much as $350 billion if revenue targets are not met, Bloomberg News reports.

Graduate students around the country walked out of their classes, office hours, and research labs to protest the House Republican tax plan Wednesday.

"This plan is going to be disastrous for higher ed," said Jack Nicoludis, a Harvard graduate student in chemistry, who helped organize a protest on the campus. He said the bill would more than double his taxes.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut Attorney General George Jepsen announced this week that he will not be seeking a third term. This leaves two huge holes to fill - AG and Governor - with no clear front-runners.

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Today's Scramble will be another all-call show. We won't have any guests -  just you and your calls to Colin. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

It’s been a hectic few weeks on Capitol Hill, but the Thanksgiving recess means a bit of rest for lawmakers and a chance for us to check in with a member of the Connecticut delegation.

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The House of Representatives passed a 440-page tax bill Thursday that was introduced two short weeks ago. Among other things, the bill would remove deductions  important to people with big medical expenses and college tuitions and ultimately hit hardest those making $75,000 or less. 

Senate Republicans hope to vote after Thanksgiving on a sweeping tax overhaul plan that they say will cut taxes for nearly every individual and family in America. The bill calls for those cuts to last only for the next eight years, unless history is a guide.

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Connecticut’s Commissioner of Revenue Services says Republicans’ efforts to reform the federal tax system are fundamentally flawed. 

Congressional Republicans aim to take critical steps Thursday toward fulfilling their pledge to overhaul the nation's tax code by the end of the year.

The House Ways and Means Committee is expected to approve sweeping legislation to cut taxes for most individuals and businesses on the same day that Senate Republicans are set to unveil their own legislative vision for taxes. The dueling proposals are part of a broader plan that GOP leaders hope will end with both chambers passing a compromise tax bill by the end of the year.

CSpan

Connecticut lawmakers say they’re outraged that Republican leaders in Congress are trying to push through a huge reform of the tax system within weeks. 

Chion Wolf / WNPR

Grab a pen and a book of stamps; it's time to talk about... taxes. Last week, the GOP unveiled a new, postcard-friendly measure -- "The The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act."

What exactly is in the tax overhaul bill and what does it mean for Connecticut? 

The tax plan unveiled by Republicans in the House of Representatives will disproportionately raise taxes on those living in Northeast states like New York, New Jersey and Connecticut. Many lawmakers from the region, including Republicans, are against the plan.

Updated at 3:10 p.m. ET

House Republicans unveiled a draft tax bill on Thursday, calling for deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates.

"With this bill, we will grow our economy by delivering more jobs, fairer taxes, and bigger paychecks to Americans of all walks of life," said Rep. Kevin Brady, R-Texas, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee.

Updated at 1:55 p.m. ET

As Republicans scrambled to assemble a tax overhaul bill, Americans weren't even sure that Congress should be focusing on reshaping the tax system.

Only about one-quarter of Americans believe that passing a tax overhaul should be "the top priority for the president and Congress," according to a CBS News poll released Wednesday; 70 percent said other things should be "addressed first." And even Republicans aren't particularly enthused: Only about half (51 percent) said an overhaul should be the top issue.

Nearly half of Connecticut’s high earners say they might leave the state in the next five years because of the state’s budget crisis and a ballooning cost of living. That’s according to a new survey from Sacred Heart University.

Updated at 10:24 a.m. ET

Marching down Pennsylvania Avenue to send a message to Congress is a classic move in presidential political theater, and Tuesday is President Trump's inaugural performance. Trump makes his first visit to Capitol Hill to meet with Senate Republicans at their weekly meeting and the message is clear: Pass a tax cut.

Updated at 4:11 p.m. ET.

The Dow Jones industrial average on Tuesday briefly topped 23,000 for the first time, crossing another milestone amid better-than-expected earnings reports and concerns that stocks are approaching another bubble.

But the 30-stock index ended the day at 22,997.44, up 40.48 points.

The Dow finished above 22,000 for the first time on Aug. 2.

Preserving The World's Endangered Languages

Oct 13, 2017
Chion Wolf / WNPR

Coming up: We sit down with Chuck Collins, senior scholar at the Washington, D.C.-based Institute for Policy Studies.

But first: A look at how researchers are working to preserve the world's most endangered languages -- including locally-based efforts to expand fluency of the Mohegan language

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A feud between President Trump and "Liddle Bob Corker," Republican Senator from Tennessee, is creating tension between the president and the GOP. This is on top of reports that Secretary of State Rex Tillerson called Trump a "moron." 

Jonathan McNicol / WNPR

Note: This episode contains strong language.

There are 203 ballparks currently being used by affiliated, professional baseball teams in the United States: 30 in the Major Leagues, 23 spring training facilities used by the big league clubs and their Rookie League affiliates, and 150 Minor League stadiums spread over six levels of baseball.

Updated at 5:00 p.m. ET

President Trump and GOP congressional leaders have outlined their plan for the most sweeping overhaul of the federal tax code in more than three decades.

They're proposing deep cuts in both individual and corporate tax rates, saying that will help supercharge a slow-growing economy.

"We want tax reform that is pro-growth, pro-jobs, pro-worker, pro-family, and yes, tax reform that is pro-American," Trump said Wednesday during a rally at the Indiana State Fairgrounds.

Connecticut’s municipalities have blasted all sides in the ongoing state budget impasse. Town and city officials spoke out after Governor Dannel Malloy issued a report claiming that state aid to municipalities has grown more than 20 percent in the last five years. 

Debora Cartagena / CDC

The American Cancer Society has blasted Connecticut Democrats’ latest budget proposal, which would raise the state’s tobacco tax, but take away money to help people quit the habit. 

Dan Moyle / Creative Commons

A longtime observer of Connecticut’s economy says plans to cut education grants to towns as a way of balancing the state budget could end up damaging the housing market. 

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