Washington Notebook

MA congressional delegation itching for change

MA congressional delegation itching for change

Most want to end seniority; some want to dump Pelosi

GOING INTO THE 2016 ELECTION, Republicans hold 246 seats in the House of Representatives. Democrats have 188. For Massachusetts, with its nine-member, all-Democrat delegation, this is a very bad situation and one that’s unlikely to get better any time soon. Among the nine, the angst is palpable. The minority party in the House enjoys almost(...)

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Waiting his turn

Waiting his turn

Richie Neal, a centrist Democrat from Massachusetts and a master of the inside, bides his time at Ways and Means

PAUL RYAN’S ASCENSION to the House speaker’s chair in October meant some reshuffling at the Ways and Means committee he was leaving behind, a panel with jurisdiction over taxes, trade, Social Security, Medicare, and welfare. The GOP picked Texan Kevin Brady to move up, as Rep. Richard Neal and his fellow Democrats looked on. For(...)

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The politics of patents

The politics of patents

Washington infighting centers on trolls and risk

THE WAY BOSTON UNIVERSITY President Bob Brown sees it, the Massachusetts economy is fueled by a pipeline of innovation running from the state’s great research universities to start-up companies. University professors discover something and patent it. They then license their idea to firms that can bring it to market. Even if no one gets rich,(...)

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A rookie on Pelosi’s team

A rookie on Pelosi’s team

Clark is raising money for Democrats and most (but not all) of the time blasting the GOP

WHEN SENATORS AND REPRESENTATIVES gathered in the House chamber in January to hear President Obama’s State of the Union address, Katherine Clark, the Melrose representative who is now serving her first full term, strode up to Mitch McConnell, grabbed his hand, and wouldn’t let go. Her aim was to convince the Kentucky Republican, who is the(...)

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Markey’s strategy in Washington

Markey’s strategy in Washington

Keep pressure on president and hope for the best

IT WAS A COLD February 5 when Ed Markey took the stage in the Radio and TV Gallery of the US Capitol. There were only a few reporters there to hear him but Markey, a long-time Malden congressman and now Massachusetts’s junior senator, was feeling jubilant. Earlier that day, Tom Wheeler, the chairman of the(...)

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Advantage Democrats

Advantage Democrats

Despite recent GOP gains, Democrats have advantage in retaining the White House in 2016.

THIRTY YEARS AGO this month marked the last time a Republican assumed the presidency with the approval of Massachusetts voters. Ronald Reagan won 49 states in the previous November’s election, including every state in New England. Four years before, he won all of them but Rhode Island. This month, a new Republican governor, Charlie Baker,(...)

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Guest workers

Comprehensive immigration reform is a long-shot, but a Republican takeover of the Senate could mean more visas for Massachusetts.

most of the attention on the immigration bill that is now foundering in Congress is on the 11 million or so immigrants who live in this country without the government’s permission. The bill the Senate passed last year—the focus of the debate on so-called comprehensive immigration reform in Washington—would provide them with an arduous pathway(...)

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Do Not Call

Do Not Call

The list is leaking like a sieve, and Massachusetts residents are among those complaining the loudest

the federal trade Commission’s Do Not Call Registry, once an effective deterrent to unwanted telemarketing calls, is now a toothless tiger. Telemarketing scam artists have found ways around the registry, as reflected in the rising number of complaints from angry consumers. Americans filed more than 3.7 million complaints about unwanted phone calls last year, more(...)

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The guiding hand

The guiding hand

Though largely unknown outside the world of politics, Mindy Myers has helped three current New England senators win office.

mindy myers has never called New England home, but she’s nevertheless left her political mark on the region. The 37-year-old Washington insider has run the successful election campaigns of three sitting New England senators—Sheldon Whitehouse of Rhode Island (2006), Richard Blumenthal of Connecticut (2010), and Elizabeth Warren of Massachusetts (2012). Myers is just as comfortable(...)

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Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

Leading the fight against e-cigarettes

For Susan Liss, the former top lobbyist for Massachusetts in the capital, the battle is personal

When Susan Liss became the top lobbyist for Massachusetts in Washington in 2006, she had a million things to juggle, from the rollout of the state’s new health care law to the search for federal funds. But it was a tough personal time for such a big assignment: Her husband, Jeffrey Liss, a partner with(...)

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