Category Archives: U.S. Congress

How Mainers will mark Day 1 under President Donald Trump

Good morning from Augusta on what will be the first half-day of America under President Donald Trump — three words that I never thought I’d type as a young and only very casual watcher of “The Apprentice.” Here’s your Prince-penned soundtrack. The Bangor Daily News’ coverage will kick off at 9 a.m. with a live blog in which we’ll […]

CIA file labels Margaret Chase Smith ‘thin-skinned.’ James Stewart might have agreed.

Good morning from Augusta, where my attention last night was on rooting out a Maine connection in 12 million pages of declassified documents posted online yesterday by the CIA. The best find? A 1958 file in which the agency smack-talks iconic Maine U.S. Sen. Margaret Chase Smith and mentions the late Republican’s opposition to a military promotion for legendary actor […]

Pingree to skip Trump inaugural, joining dozens of other Democrats

U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree (BDN File) U.S. Rep. Chellie Pingree said Monday that she won’t go to Friday’s inauguration of President-elect Donald Trump, joining a group of more than 30 other Democrats who are boycotting the festivities. Pingree, a fifth-term congresswoman from Maine’s 1st District, made the announcement at a dinner in Portland celebrating Martin Luther King Jr. Day. She backed Rep. […]

Poliquin joins House committee overseeing VA

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District announced Monday that he’ll join the committee overseeing the Department of Veterans Affairs. It’s an agency of outsized importance in Maine: The second-term Republican represents a congressional district that was projected in 2015 to be one of only 63 with 65,000 or more veterans — the most of any district in New […]

Fighting drugs, freeing hedgehogs: Here are Maine lawmakers’ priorities for 2017

Good morning from Augusta, where the Maine Legislature on Monday released the list of all 1,824 bills proposed by lawmakers in 2017. The New Year ritual sends many State House observers into their bunkers to parse it all. Here are the items of consequence — and non-consequence — that we found: The biggest issue: Maine’s opiate crisis, which drove a […]

Other than the timing, LePage’s budget offers few surprises

Lawmakers, lobbyists, reporters and the public have had a couple days to study Republican Gov. Paul LePage’s final biennial state budget proposal, which his administration released late Friday night. Breaking from recent tradition, LePage and members of the executive branch opted against presenting the budget by briefing lawmakers or the media, although the written delivery […]

Maine Legislature’s top Republican, Democrat near agreement on pot moratorium

Good morning from Augusta, where it’s only the second day of the 2017 legislative session, but the Daily Briefs are getting longer and marijuana has become the signature policy issue after Mainers approved it for recreational use in November. On Wednesday, we were told to expect a deal by week’s end between the Legislature’s top […]

Poliquin opposes House GOP’s proposal to gut independent ethics office

Good morning from Augusta. But all eyes are on Washington today, where U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin, Maine’s only House Republican, is opposing his party’s surprise vote Monday night to gut an independent ethics office. In a closed-door vote, Republicans endorsed moving the independent Office of Congressional Ethics — established in 2008 amid concerns that lawmakers on an ethics panel weren’t […]

Maine GOP chairman to leave post at term’s end in January

Good morning from Augusta, where the Maine Republican Party will have a new face at the helm by January’s end. Chairman Rick Bennett told the Bangor Daily News on Thursday that he’s leaving his post when his term ends on Jan. 28. Vice Chairwoman Demi Kouzounas said she’ll be running to replace him. Just about any way you […]

Liberal Maine town eyes adding civics lessons in wake of Trump win

Fretting over the election of Donald Trump has prompted a letter from the school superintendent to parents and staff in Brunswick that suggests the creation of a new civics and government course. Superintendent Paul Perzanoski wrote in the Dec. 12 letter that “trepidation over the results of the national election appear to be at the […]