News October 27

AT&T-Time Warner Merger Sen. Bernie Sanders called on the Justice Department Wednesday to block the $85 billion AT&T-Time Warner merger. Sanders warned in a letter to the department's antitrust division that the combination could result in a "gross concentration of power" in news media, and suggested that blocking the deal would help "preserve our democratic discourse,” CNBC and The Associated Press reported.

Fears of Growing Progressive Power Hillary Clinton’s lead in presidential-election polls has Wall Street increasingly focused on the battle for control of Congress—and bracing for a less friendly environment if Democrats retake the Senate and give new clout to the party’s left wing led by Sanders and Sen. Elizabeth Warren, The Wall Street Journal reported. Republicans in Congress are also worried about the power of progressives, The New York Times reported.

Liberal Priorities Buoyed by the strength of Sanders in the primary and the enduring star power of Warren, liberal Democrats are expected to push hard for new curbs on Wall Street and dig in on policy issues including trade, health care, taxes and college tuition, The Wall Street Journal reported. Liberal Democrats are already looking past Election Day — and relying on arren to become the thorn in chief in Mrs. Clinton’s side, scrutinizing her appointments and agenda, The New York Times reported. 

HELP Committee Sanders, who is wielding newfound influence that he gained during his presidential bid, continues to signal interest in the HELP gavel, though he is in line to become chairman of the Senate Budget Committee should Democrats come back into power, Politico reported.

Executive Action on Drug Prices A group of progressive Democratic lawmakers, including Sanders and Warren, agree that under a thirty-six-year-old law, the Bayh-Dole Act, the executive branch is empowered to get pharmaceutical companies to reduce prices on drugs invented with the help of federal research funds, Washington Monthly reported.

Column: Pressure from the Left “Pressure from Sanders and other progressives — Warren being the most prominent among them — can give Clinton cover to propose more liberal policies. Sanders’s (and Warren’s) popularity with voters can also help shift the public debate on Clinton’s proposals to the left,” James Downie wrote for The Washington Post. “It will drive a Clinton White House crazy sometimes, but active pressure from Sanders is much more likely to help Clinton and the Democratic Party than to hurt them.”


Refugees There are 67 days left in 2016, but on Tuesday the number of people who have died this year trying to reach European shores via smuggling routes across the Mediterranean Sea surpassed last year's grim total. A spokesman for the United Nations' refugee agency said that 3,800 had died attempting the voyage this year, The Washington Post reported.


Trump Voters Talk Revolution Big crowds still mob Donald J. Trump when he comes to town, with fans waiting in long lines to attend his rallies, where they eagerly jeer his Democratic rival and holler happily at his message, The New York Times reported.  Some worry that they will be forgotten, along with their concerns and frustrations. Others believe the nation may be headed for violent conflict.


All-Payer Vermont’s Green Mountain Care Board voted Wednesday morning to sign an agreement with the federal government designed to transform the state's health-care payment system.  The new model would reimburse participating providers for health outcomes, rather than for every procedure they perform. Seven Days reported.

Hydroelectric The final report of the Vermont Hydroelectric Power Acquisition Working Group, issued Tuesday, recommends that the state should not pursue buying the TransCanada’s dams or even enter into a partnership with potential buyers, VTDigger reported.