News February 11

Senator Sanders

End Tax Havens Sen. Bernie Sanders proposed legislation to stop corporations from sheltering income in the Cayman Islands and other tax havens. The legislation also would end tax breaks for companies that ship jobs and factories overseas. Sanders said his bill would generate more than $590 billion in revenue during the next decade, The Associated Press, Rutland Herald, Burlington Free Press and WCAX-TV reported on Sunday and Monday. LINK, LINK, LINK, VIDEO

USPS Sen. Sanders said eliminating Saturday mail delivery will hurt rural America while doing very little to improve the financial condition of the U.S. Postal Service, CBS Radio News reported in a broadcast Sunday on KOH-AM in Reno, Nev. AUDIO

Protecting Veterans When Ruth Moore was an 18-year-old in the Navy, she was raped by her supervisor. Decades later, Sen. Sanders helped Moore resolve her dispute with the VA, the Bangor Daily News reported. This week, Moore is headed to Washington, D.C., as Rep. Chellie Pingree introduces The Ruth Moore Act to reduce the standard of proof for victims of military sexual assault so that they can more easily obtain benefits. LINK

Saturday Night Live A dress rehearsal for NBC’s Saturday Night Live included a skit that mocked senators for fawning over Israel at the confirmation hearing for Chuck Hagel to be defense secretary. Actor Fred Armisen played Sen. Sanders. “As everyone in this room knows, I am a Jew,” Armisen said to mock cries of shock from the audience. “An old Jew, and like all old Jews I love the state of Isreal. But what my Republican colleagues are doing is pure grandstanding.” (The segment posted on the NBC website was not broadcast.) VIDEO

World

Pope to Retire Pope Benedict XVI announced Monday he would resign Feb. 28, the first pontiff to do so in nearly 600 years. The decision sets the stage for a conclave to elect a new pope before the end of March. The 85-year-old pope announced his decision in Latin during a meeting of Vatican cardinals Monday morning, AP reported. LINK

National

Senator to Block Obama Nominees A top Republican senator said Sunday he planned to hold up President Barack Obama's nominees for the Pentagon and Central Intelligence Agency, further complicating an already confrontational confirmation process. Sen. Lindsey Graham said he would put a "hold" on the nominations—a procedural move that often halts deliberations—until the White House gives more information about last September's attack on U.S. facilities in Benghazi, Libya, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

President to Push His Economic Vision in State of Union In his second inaugural address, President Barack Obama laid out a roster of social policies that cheered his base and infuriated Republicans. In Tuesday's State of the Union, the president is expected to do the same as he pushes to complete the unfulfilled pieces of his economic vision, according to The Wall Street Journal. LINK

Obama Weighing Executive Actions President Obama is considering a series of new executive actions aimed at working around a recalcitrant Congress, including policies that could allow struggling homeowners to refinance their mortgages, provide new protections for gays and lesbians, make buildings more energy-efficient and toughen regulations for coal-fired power plants, according to people outside the White House involved in discussions on the issues, The Washington Post reported. LINK

Cliff Congress May Go Over As Congress comes up on the latest budget deadline, lawmakers seem less daunted by the prospect of going over the "cliff" this time, as partisan positions remain far apart with only three weeks remaining before big cuts hit. March 1 is the day when $85 billion in cuts, known as the "sequester" in Washington parlance, begin to take effect in defense and domestic programs unless Congress acts, The Wall Street Journal reported. LINK

Gun Victims at State of Union More than 20 survivors of gun violence and their family members will be in the House chamber on Tuesday as President Obama gives the first State of the Union address of his second term, USA Today reported. The effort, organized in part by Mayors Against Illegal Guns and congressional advocates of stricter gun laws, may be the first coordinated attempt to pack the gallery with a group of people pushing for one issue. LINK

Details Emerging in Menendez Case Sen. Robert Menendez sought to discourage any plan by the United States government to donate port security equipment to the Dominican Republic, citing concern that the advanced screening gear might undermine efforts by a private company — run by a major campaign contributor and friend of his — to do the work. The intervention with the Department of Homeland Security last month came even though Menendez has publicly chastised the Obama administration for not doing more to combat the surging drug traffic moving through Dominican ports. LINK

Vermont

Wall of Honor The Spaulding High School Centennial Wall of Honor is a granite monument with the names of more than 2,500 students who served in the armed forces since World War I. Two more slabs of granite will soon be added to make room for 100 more names, the Times Argus reported.