Tuesday, December 10, 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 – A small business group is running television ads in Maine this week in order to pressure Republican Sen. Susan Collins to support President Obama’s pick to head the Environmental Protection Agency.
Gina McCarthy’s nomination to take over the EPA’s top job has been pending in the Senate for several months. Some Republican lawmakers have resisted efforts to move McCarthy’s nomination forward for a variety of reasons, including as a way to signal their strong opposition to Obama’s recently announced plan to regulate carbon dioxide emissions from existing power plants. (The EPA will develop the rules).
WASHINGTON – Sen. Angus King became Prof. King Wednesday afternoon when he offered his Senate colleagues a history lesson on the Battle of Gettysburg and the role that Maine men played in “probably the defining event in the history of this country.”
Armed with an easel and markers of various colors, King literally sketched out the positions of Union and Confederate troops on the first major day of battle on July 2, 1863 -- exactly 150 years ago next Tuesday.
WASHINGTON – The Obama administration’s proposal for another round of military base closures appears to be headed nowhere fast in both the Senate and House.
On Tuesday, a subcommittee of the Senate Armed Services Committee endorsed a defense budget bill that stripped out the Pentagon’s proposal to begin exploring another Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process. Late last month, the similar subcommittee in the House Armed Services Committee went even farther by adding language expressly prohibiting the Pentagon by even considering another BRAC round.
While not a guarantee, the committee's strong opposition to another round of base closures greatly reduces the likelihood that Congress will grant the Pentagon's request this year.
WASHINGTON – Congress is back in session this week, fresh off lawmakers’ Memorial Day recess. Here’s a quick run-down of a few items on Capitol Hill that might be of interest to Mainers or that involve folks from the Pine Tree State:
New ships for BIW
Workers at Bath Iron Works are expected to get some good news this week when the Navy announces multi-year contracts for up to 10 new destroyers. Exactly how good that news will be, however, depends on how many ships are awarded to BIW and how many go to the rival shipyard in Mississippi.