GOVERNMENT & POLITICS

Outgoing North Adams, Massachusetts, Mayor Dick Alcombright poses in his office. Alcombright decided not to run for a fifth term this year and will be replaced in January, 2018 by Tom Bernard.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

The new year brings new mayors to three cities in western Massachusetts: Agawam, Easthampton and North Adams. In North Adams, Tom Bernard will replace Dick Alcombright, who decided not to run for re-election after eight years in office.

Trump's Busy Year On Energy And Environment

Dec 22, 2017

President Trump campaigned on a platform to make American energy great again.

"We're loaded," he said, at a 2016 campaign appearance in North Dakota, referring to fossil fuel reserves. By unleashing those reserves and slashing regulations, Trump promised, he would usher in an era of "energy independence" and, ultimately, American energy dominance.

Updated at 6:52 p.m. ET

Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell wants 2018 to be a year of bipartisanship, even if that means moving on from GOP dreams of cutting welfare and fully rolling back the Affordable Care Act.

The Kentucky Republican on Thursday broke with House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., on the approach to paring back spending on programs like Medicaid and food stamps. In an interview with NPR, McConnell said he is "not interested" in using Senate budget rules to allow Republicans to cut entitlements without consultation with Democrats.

Hundreds of Honduran immigrants in Connecticut and Massachusetts will find out in the coming months whether they’ll be allowed to stay in the U.S. or face possible deportation. This comes as violent protests continue in Honduras following a contested presidential election.

Republicans in Congress are promising that their tax bill will create jobs. One place where we know it's going to create a lot of work is at the IRS.

That agency will have to figure out how to interpret and implement the hundreds of pages of changes to the tax code that were just passed, at a time when it is already struggling with budget cuts and staff reductions.

The Trump administration says it's already working with the IRS to update tax forms and withholding tables, promising that most taxpayers will notice a difference in their pay stubs by February.

Updated on Dec. 22 on 12:02 p.m. ET

Congressional Republicans delivered on their first major legislative accomplishment of the Trump era on Wednesday, when the House voted 224-201 to pass a $1.5 trillion tax package. The bill cuts individual rates for eight years and slashes the top corporate tax rate to 21 percent permanently.

Updated at 1:26 a.m. ET Wednesday

Republicans in Congress approved a sweeping and controversial $1.5 trillion tax overhaul, with the Senate voting early Wednesday along straight party lines to move the measure forward.

Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud of Chicopee, Massachusetts, is taking on Congressman Richard Neal in next year's Democratic primary. Here, Amatul-Wadud addresses supporters during a campaign event in Pittsfield, Massachusetts.
Adam Frenier / NEPR

Longtime Springfield Congressman Richard Neal has a challenger in next year's Democratic primary. Attorney Tahirah Amatul-Wadud of Chicopee, Massachusetts, announced her candidacy Tuesday.

From left, attorneys Anthony Fuller, Jody Newman, and Natashia Tidwell of Hogan Lovells will take the lead in the Senate Ethics Committee special investigation of Sen. Stanley Rosenberg.
Courtesy Hogan Lovells / via State House News Service

A team of lawyers, including a former federal prosecutor who helped put one-time Massachusetts House Speaker Sal DiMasi in prison for public corruption, has been retained by the state Senate Ethics Committee to investigate whether Sen. Stanley Rosenberg violated Senate rules in connection with allegations of sexual assault against his husband. 

Updated on Dec. 20 at 3:50 p.m. ET

The Republican tax bill, which Congress sent to President Trump on Wednesday, would give most Americans a tax cut next year, according to a new analysis. However, it would by far benefit the richest Americans the most. Meanwhile, many lower- and middle-class Americans would have higher taxes a decade from now ... unless a future Congress extends the cuts.

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