Saturday, December 7, 2013
Kevin Miller is Washington bureau chief for the Portland Press Herald and MaineToday Media. He has worked as a journalist in Maine for 6 ½ years, covering the environment, politics and the State House. Before arriving in Maine, he wrote about politics, government and education for newspapers in Virginia and Maryland.
Kevin can be reached at 317-6256 or email@example.com
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WASHINGTON – Maine activists opposed to pipelines carrying "tar sands" oil won't get a chance to rally at an event featuring Vice President Joe Biden after all.
Biden was slated to attend a fundraiser Thursday for New Hampshire Gov. Maggie Hassan at a private home in the Cape Neddick area of York. But on Wednesday afternoon the vice president canceled trips to Maine and Rhode Island in order to stay in Houston with his son, Beau Biden, who is undergoing medical testing related to a recent health episode.
Beau Biden, 44, is attorney general of Delaware. A more complete article about the cancellations is available here.
Activists with Sierra Club and 350.org -- a group active on climate change issues -- had planned to gather outside of the York home on Thursday to demonstrate their opposition to the Keystone XL pipeline and to any plans to ship bitumen crude oil through Maine via pipeline. The groups canceled the rally after it was announced Biden would not be traveling to Maine.
WASHINGTON – The student loan interest rate bill signed into law Friday by President Obama represented both Sen. Angus King’s highest-profile policy victory to date and the Maine independent's biggest split with Democrats.
“I fully expected to be reined in at some point, to get a call from some of the Democratic leadership saying, ‘What are you doing?’” King said Friday prior to the White House ceremony. “And that didn’t happen. That just did not happen.”
WASHINGTON –Sen. Angus King will attend his first bill signing at the White House on Friday when President Obama adds his blessing to a student loan interest rate bill co-authored by the Maine independent.
The bill removes Congress from the process of setting interest rates for federally backed student loans and, instead, ties the rates to the 10-year Treasury note.
Absent an agreement, rates for subsidized Stafford undergraduate loans doubled to 6.8 percent on July 1 while rates for unsubsidized, graduate and parental loans remained constant. Under the legislation being signed by Obama, rates will retroactively drop to 3.9 percent for undergraduates, 5.4 percent for graduate students and 6.4 percent for parents borrowing on behalf of their children.
WASHINGTON – State Sen. Emily Cain, an Orono Democrat running for Maine’s 2nd Congressional District, is getting an early boost from a prominent organization that promotes pro-choice, Democratic women candidates.
EMILY’S List, an organization that recruits and trains women candidates who support abortion rights, announced that Cain was “On the List,” a designation that means her campaign will be featured in the group’s fundraising messages to supporters.
Twelve candidates from around the country with “promising campaigns” were “On the List” as of Monday. EMILY's List boasts that it has more than 2 million members nationwide.
WASHINGTON – Fresh off their trip to the Middle East, Maine Sen. Angus King and Michigan Sen. Carl Levin are calling on the Obama administration to lead a coalition of nations to exert additional “military pressure” on the Syrian government.
Levin, a Democrat who chairs the Senate Armed Services Committee, and King recently traveled to Jordan and Turkey to talk to military and diplomatic officials about how the war in Syria is affecting the region and U.S. interests. King serves on Armed Services and the Senate Intelligence Committee.
King shared his personal thoughts on the trip with the Portland Press Herald last week. On Tuesday, King and Levin released a joint statement that lays out some additional steps that they said could help convince Syrian President Bashar Assad to come to the negotiating table.