Congress

Confusion reigns in states with legal pot

Confusion reigns in states with legal pot

More questions, fewer answers on how US attorneys will enforce federal drug laws

THE ONE THING that is certain with the change in enforcement of federal marijuana laws is that there will be no uniform approach to enforcement by US attorneys in states that have legalized the sale of recreational marijuana. Public comments and statements from some of the 12 US attorneys in the eight states that have(...)

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A disability shouldn’t be a handicap

A disability shouldn’t be a handicap

We need to ensure special needs students have a chance to succeed

“EXCUSE ME, DO you need that parking space? Because my 85-year-old mother does.” My sister, Maria, and I turned our heads to see a middle-aged woman scowling at us moments after we pulled into a handicapped parking space, at the front entrance of our local mall. Outraged, I said, “As a matter of fact, we(...)

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Steve Lynch’s balancing act

Steve Lynch’s balancing act

Is the lunch-bucket Democrat out of step with his own party?

NO ONE WOULD question the wisdom of a gambler who put money on US Rep. Stephen Lynch securing another easy win next year. Still, the odds are changing a bit, in part because the demographics of his district are changing and the Democratic Party in Massachusetts is moving away from him to the left. Since(...)

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Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Red states dodge a Medicaid bullet

Under-the-radar attempt to repeal entitlement unlikely to go away

REPUBLICANS IN WASHINGTON couldn’t cobble together enough votes in March from their own party to repeal and replace Obamacare. President Trump learned that health care is more complicated than he thought and quickly put the Affordable Care Act in his rearview mirror. House Republicans, who had symbolically voted dozens of times to repeal the ACA,(...)

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Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Bending the Medicaid cost curve

Massachusetts is betting big on accountable care organizations

IN A WILDLY uncertain national health care environment, something new, audacious, and risky is happening in MassHealth, the Medicaid program that provides health coverage to 1.9 million people who are poor, elderly, and persons with disabilities in Massachusetts. Gov. Charlie Baker’s administration is betting that an emerging health care delivery and payment model, called “accountable(...)

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What can the Mass. delegation do?

What can the Mass. delegation do?

With the GOP in charge, the short answer is, not a lot.

MASSACHUSETTS VOTERS RAN against the grain on Election Day and returned to Washington the nine incumbents who represent the Bay State in the House. They join fellow Democrats Elizabeth Warren and Ed Markey in the Senate. So when their Republicans colleagues who control both the House and Senate move this year to push through a(...)

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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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A Massachusetts lesson on gun safety

A Massachusetts lesson on gun safety

Congress should follow our lead in curbing gun violence

EARLIER THIS MONTH, I joined Sen. Ed Markey and several community leaders at Roxbury Community College in Boston to discuss ways to influence the national gun safety debate.  We came together as legislators, law enforcement officials, community organizers, clergy, and concerned parents seeking to move the debate forward before more American lives are lost, before(...)

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Helping low-income families out of poverty

Helping low-income families out of poverty

Congressional reauthorization of TANF program offers opportunity to strengthen path to economic self-sufficiency

BUILDING A PATHWAY that leads out of poverty and into economic self-sufficiency requires hard work, resilience and persistence. However, low-income families will do all it takes to reach economic independence if given the means. To create that opportunity, service providers, philanthropy, and government must come together as partners to create the necessary supports needed to(...)

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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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