Political news

Jake Bleiberg / Bangor Daily News

Nine faith leaders who had been occupying U.S. Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office for about 10 hours were arrested Thursday night for criminal trespassing by the Portland police.

Courtesy Photo

About a dozen members of the faith community say they won’t be moved when Sen. Susan Collins’ Portland office closes Thursday evening.

Rev. Jim Gertmenian has been part of the sit-in action since 11 a.m.

“We’ve been told that we cannot stay, and some of us have said we cannot leave, and so at 5 o’clock there will be something of an impasse, and we’re not exactly sure how that will play out, but that’s where we are right now,” he says.

Thousands of net neutrality supporters protested Thursday outside more than 700 Verizon stores in all 50 states - including Maine - plus the District of Columbia.

In Bangor, more than a dozen people showed up near Verizon's Bangor Mall location to challenge a plan by FCC Chairman Ajit Pai,  a former Verizon attorney, to repeal the net neutrality 2015 rules on Dec. 14. 

Jonathan Fulford, a protestor from Monroe and Democratic candidate for Maine's 2nd Congressional District, said increasing internet costs will have the effect of stifling free speech.

Quoting anonymous White House advisers, The Washington Post reports that President Trump plans to call Maine Gov. Paul LePage and ask him to run for the U.S. Senate seat now held by independent Sen. Angus King.

This, after LePage announced last May that he was not interested in running.  In a brief interview outside his office Thursday, this was the governor's response when asked about the report: “It's fake news!”

Carolyn Kaster / Associated Press

FBI Director Christopher Wray is testifying before the House Judiciary Committee for an oversight hearing. He is likely to face questions about the Russia investigation led by special counsel Robert Mueller. Last week, former national security adviser Michael Flynn pleaded guilty to lying to the FBI about his conversations with the Russian ambassador. The hearing also comes days after President Trump attacked the FBI on Twitter, saying "its reputation is in Tatters," citing the investigation of Hillary Clinton's private email server under former Director James Comey.

Robert F. Bukaty / Associated Press/file

Maine Gov. Paul LePage has a new reason to consider running for the Senate next year:  The Washington Post is reporting that President Trump has said he wants LePage to challenge Independent Sen. Angus King.  

PORTLAND, Maine — Maine’s Democrat-aligned independent U.S. senator says it’s time for Sen. Al Franken to resign in the wake of sexual misconduct allegations.

Sen. Angus King is one of two unaffiliated members of the U.S. Senate, and he caucuses with the Democrats. King tweeted on Wednesday that Sen. Franken, of Minnesota, should step down in light of the "growing number of allegations against him."

A group of female Democratic senators also said Wednesday that Franken should resign. The senator’s office has said he would make an announcement on Thursday.

The House has passed a bill allowing a concealed weapon permit from one state be honored in another state. Maine’s two representatives split on the issue.

U.S. Rep. Bruce Poliquin of Maine’s 2nd District voted for the bill and spoke in support on the floor, saying it’s a commonsense measure.

“Concealed Carry Reciprocity Bill of 2017 is a commonsense fix to a patchwork of state laws that will confuse and do confuse law-abiding Americans,” he says.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service via AP

As Republicans look to reconcile key differences between the House and Senate versions of their tax bills, one of the flashpoints is around a remote, eastern corner of Alaska — the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, considered one of the most pristine wilderness areas in the country.

J. Scott Applewhite / Associated Press

The federal government runs out of authority to spend money Friday night at midnight, and that means once again, there could be a partial shutdown of the federal government. At least two members of Maine’s congressional delegation believe a showdown will be averted, for now.

A.J. Higgins / Maine Public

Several diverse Maine groups are uniting over an immigration issue that potentially could force the deportation of individuals who entered the United States as minors illegally, or have remained here under the protection of the Deferred Action for Childhood Arrivals program, also known as DACA.

The program was rescinded by the Trump administration and the issue is expected to be addressed by Congress later this month. Dana Connors, president of the Maine State Chamber of Commerce, said Maine's aging workforce is one of the reasons why DACA children need to remain.

More Americans are staying in the workforce after reaching retirement age, and that is benefiting the economy, according to a report released by the Senate Committee on Aging.

Maine Sen. Susan Collins chairs the committee. “The number of workers ages 65 to 74 is projected to grow by more than 4 percent annually,” she noted during a hearing on the issue Wednesday morning.

Jeff Roberson / Associated Press

As Congress moves through the process of potentially passing a major tax reform package, we’re still just starting to get a sense of what’s in the package now, what might be in the final plan and what the implications might be.

Maine U.S. Sen. Angus King peppered President Trump's nominee to head up the Energy Information Administration, which provides the data for developing policies, including climate change policy.

King questioned Linda Capuano on whether she has taken a position on climate change.

“So no one in the process said, 'What are your views on climate change?' " King asked. "Or I think you said maybe they did, but you would have said 'I have no opinion.' Seriously?”

PORTLAND, Maine - U.S. Sen. Angus King is among a group of lawmakers who wants the Congressional Budget Office to prioritize the role of prevention in health care.
King, a Maine independent, is joining Idaho Republican Sen. Mike Crapo, Maryland Democratic Sen. Ben Cardin and New Mexico Democratic Sen. Tom Udall in proposing the Preventive Health Savings Act. The senators say the proposal would direct the CBO to more accurately reflect the cost savings associated with preventive health care.