Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
Issa’s New Evidence: IRS Knew About Lost Emails Back In February, Not AprilPosted July 22, 2014 at 5:37 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
House slaps TSA for overpaying ‘criminal investigators’Posted July 22, 2014 at 5:01 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The House voted Tuesday to force the Transportation Security Administration to only pay employees as criminal investigators when they spend most of their time investigating crimes.
Members approved the TSA Office of Inspection Accountability Act in a voice vote after a brief debate in which members of both parties said TSA has overpaid some of its employees for several years.Read More »
VA nominee promises actions in first 90 days of confirmationPosted July 22, 2014 at 4:31 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Robert McDonald, the former Procter & Gamble CEO nominated to lead the broken Department of Veterans Affairs, said Tuesday that he would roll out an ambitious plan to transform the VA over his first 90 days as secretary.
“I will put the veteran at the center of everything we do, consistent with our mission,” he told the Senate Veterans’ Affairs Committee.Read More »
CBO’s stark new warning on the national debtPosted July 22, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Congressional Budget Office reported Tuesday that Congress would need to cut hundreds of billions of dollars each year from federal spending — or raise the same amount of new money in taxes — just to ensure that the national debt doesn’t get any bigger than it already is.
A blog post from two CBO analysts said the national debt is now 74 percent of the country’s gross domestic product. Economists have taken to the idea of comparing the debt to GDP as a way of gauging the ability of the U.S. to pay it back, but using raw numbers, the debt is $17.6 trillion.Read More »
Breaking Down Today’s Conflicting Obamacare Court RulingsPosted July 22, 2014 at 2:06 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
GOP sees court ruling as major step toward unraveling of ObamacarePosted July 22, 2014 at 12:09 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Republicans opposed to Obamacare are seeing Tuesday’s ruling by a panel of judges at the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia as a major decision that exposes the Democratic rush to pass the flawed bill, and could ultimately bring the law to its knees.
The Court ruled Tuesday that the law does not permit the government to provide subsidies to people who buy Obamacare from the federal healthcare exchange. Instead, a plain reading of the law says subsidies are only allowed for people who buy insurance under a state-run exchange.Read More »
Federal highway spending continues to split conservativesPosted July 22, 2014 at 9:23 am by Pete Kasperowicz
A proposal to fund federal highway programs for the next year is becoming increasingly divisive among conservatives, as GOP members are split on whether to accept a short-term bill funded with what many say are revenue “gimmicks,” or a longer-term proposal funded by an increase in the gas tax.
In addition, many conservative groups outside Congress are calling for a third approach that involves reforms to reduce federal spending, and giving more authority to states over highway funds.Read More »
What Emergency? CBO Says Just $25 Million of Obama’s $3.7 Billion Border Bill Would Be Spent This SummerPosted July 21, 2014 at 5:00 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Harry Reid says deporting immigrant kids won’t solve the border crisisPosted July 21, 2014 at 2:54 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) said Monday that deporting illegal immigrant children back to their home countries will do nothing to resolve the border crisis, going against the grain of Republicans who say faster deportations will do just that by making it less worthwhile for kids to try to cross into the county.
Reid opened this week’s work in the Senate by criticizing Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) for seeking to end President Barack Obama’s deferred deportation program as a condition of funding new border control efforts. Cruz and other Republicans have said that deferred action program has tempted thousands of children to cross the border, but Reid said it doesn’t make sense to deport anyone.Read More »
Uh Oh: IRS Admits More ‘Computer Problems’Posted July 21, 2014 at 1:21 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
The White House’s Interesting Claim for Why Millions Aren’t WorkingPosted July 21, 2014 at 12:38 pm by Pete Kasperowicz222 Comments »
White House ignoring Congress on key foreign policy decisionsPosted July 21, 2014 at 10:37 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The chairman of the House Intelligence Committee on Monday accused the Obama administration of completely shutting Congress out of major foreign policy decisions, including how to deal with Russia’s aggression on the Ukraine border, and the delayed Iran nuclear talks.
Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said the White House has not reached out to Congress in any meaningful way on Russia, and totally ignored Congress’s advice not to extend the Iran nuclear talks.Read More »
Dems seek criminal penalties against companies that fail to notify workers on use of Hobby Lobby rulingPosted July 21, 2014 at 9:15 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Senate Democrats want to impose criminal penalties, including the possibility of years in prison, against company executives that fail to tell workers that they won’t receive coverage for certain contraceptives as part of their health insurance.
Sen. Dick Durbin (D-Ill.) proposed the Preventive Care Coverage Notification Act, which is the Democrats’ latest reaction to the Supreme Court’s Hobby Lobby decision. That decision said closely held for-profit companies don’t have to provide contraception that violates the religious beliefs of their owners.Read More »
After blaming Russia, State Department insists it won’t prejudge investigation into downed passenger planePosted July 18, 2014 at 5:03 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The State Department said Friday that the Obama administration was not prejudging the pending investigation into the Malaysian plane that was shot down over Ukraine, despite a blistering statement at the UN in which the U.S. ambassador placed the blame squarely at Russia’s feet.
At a Friday morning UN Security Council meeting, Ambassador Samantha Power singled out Russia as a possible source of technical expertise to pro-Russia separatists who shot down the plane, killing nearly 300 people. She also said the downed plane should be seen in the “context” of Russia’s effort to continue to destabilize Ukraine.Read More »
Issa gives White House second chance to testify, but warns he will enforce subpoenaPosted July 18, 2014 at 3:51 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) said Friday he would give the White House one more chance to allow a top official to testify.
But Issa warned if the White House doesn’t take this chance, he is ready to enforce a subpoena that the Obama administration has so far ignored.Read More »
No Love: GOP Lawmaker Looking to Stop Government Study of Romance NovelsPosted July 18, 2014 at 3:05 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
An idea whose time has come? Mandatory ethics training for House membersPosted July 18, 2014 at 1:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Reps. David Cicilline (D-R.I.) and Scott Rigell (R-Va.) want to subject all members of Congress to mandatory ethics training, and have proposed legislation that would require it.
Their Ensuring Trust and Honorability in Congressional Standards (ETHICS) Act would follow up on legislation from 2007 that only requires ethics training for members of the Senate, and staffers from both the House and Senate. The two members said it’s time to end the exemption for House members.Read More »
Russia pins air disaster on Ukraine’s faulty aviation securityPosted July 18, 2014 at 12:15 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Russian Federation’s ambassador to the United Nations on Friday blamed Ukraine’s government in Kiev for failing to take steps needed to ensure the safety of passenger aircraft, and said that failure was a major factor in the downing of a Malaysian passenger plane.
Vitaly Churkin, the Russian Federation’s ambassador to the UN, said in New York Friday that investigators should be asking why the plane was allowed to travel through airspace that has seen missile strikes in the last several weeks.Read More »
U.S. Blames Russia for Downed Malaysian Passenger PlanePosted July 18, 2014 at 11:09 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Ted Cruz, Steve King, others flood Congress with bills to fix the borderPosted July 18, 2014 at 9:17 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Republicans in the House and Senate introduced several new legislative proposals aimed at fixing the humanitarian crisis at the southern U.S. border — including plans to enforce the border, speed up the process of deporting illegal immigrant children, and remove the incentives that the GOP believes are enticing Central American children to cross into the United States.
Republicans say the Obama administration has created the impression that children can stay in the U.S. once they cross over through its deferred deportation policy against younger immigrants. And in fact, many can stay — government officials have estimated that about half of the children crossing over may have a legitimate asylum claim, and that nearly half never show up for the deportation hearing.Read More »
Justice Department Officials Can’t Answer Basic Questions About Border Crisis, IRS InvestigationPosted July 17, 2014 at 5:00 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
McCain: ‘Separatists could only have gotten that capability from Russia’Posted July 17, 2014 at 4:55 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) on Thursday said if the U.S. can confirm that Russian separatists shot down a Malaysian passenger plan, the U.S. should react by imposing tough new sanctions against Russia.
Speaking to reporters, McCain said Russia is the only possible source of surface-to-air missiles that appeared to take down the plane.Read More »
State Department still trying to confirm passenger info on doomed Malaysian flightPosted July 17, 2014 at 2:57 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A State Department spokeswoman said Thursday that officials are still working to learn what it can about reports that a Malaysian passenger aircraft was shot down over Ukraine by pro-Russia separatists, including whether any U.S. citizens were aboard that flight.
“At this point we do not have any confirmed information about casualties, the cause or additional details,” State Spokeswoman Jen Psaki told reporters.Read More »
Boehner not sure Congress can pass a border bill by JulyPosted July 17, 2014 at 1:23 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) indicated Thursday that he’s not entirely convinced Congress will be able to pass a bill to deal with the crisis at the southern U.S. border before Congress goes on summer break at the end of July.
When asked if any legislation could be passed in the next few weeks, Boehner said, “I would certainly hope so, but I don’t have as much optimism as I’d like to have.”Read More »
Here’s How Lois Lerner Could Avoid Being Brought Before a Grand JuryPosted July 17, 2014 at 11:50 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
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