Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
Thanksgiving With USDA: A Time to Wash Your Hands, and Cook That Turkey Until All the Bacteria Are DeadPosted November 27, 2014 at 10:16 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Obama administration pitches Obamacare as a Black Friday purchasePosted November 26, 2014 at 4:38 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Health and Human Services on Wednesday said it has partnered with shopping centers, pharmacists and websites to help promote Obamacare during the busy shopping weekend.
HHS said Westfield Shopping Centers, National Community Pharmacists Association and the XO Group will help promote Obamacare to people over the weekend. Black Friday is usually one of the biggest shopping days in the country, and it’s followed up by “Small Business Saturday,” and then “Cyber Monday.”Read More »
Can anything unite Republicans and Democrats? How about…the Nazis.Posted November 26, 2014 at 3:23 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Republicans next week will debate and pass bipartisan legislation that would prevent the U.S. government from making Social Security payments to Nazi war criminals.
The issue came up in October, when the Associated Press reported that some Nazis were receiving these payments as part of agreements under which the recipients agreed to leave the United States. The AP said by 1999, 28 suspected Nazi war criminals had been paid $1.5 million, and said and handful of these people were still receiving these benefits today.
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Boehner says EPA’s smog rule is a massive job killer, vows GOP Congress will fight itPosted November 26, 2014 at 2:11 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) warned Wednesday that the Obama administration’s proposed regulations to reduce air pollution would create a huge new hurdle to job creation, and said Congress would continue working to stop these sorts of proposals.
“The Obama administration’s massive new regulation – the most expensive rule ever proposed by the EPA – could slash family budgets by more than $1,500 per year, reduce GDP by trillions, and cost our economy millions of jobs,” Boehner said.Read More »
Congressional Research Service says Congress can defund Obama’s immigration move with legislationPosted November 26, 2014 at 1:03 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Congressional Research Service has told Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) that Congress has the legal authority to restrict the work of federal agencies funded by fees, a finding that could embolden Republicans to pass legislation blocking Obama’s executive action on immigration.
Before leaving for the Thanksgiving break, House Republicans were debating whether Congress could pass a bill to stop U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services from implementing Obama’s executive action. Questions were raised about whether Congress had any authority over USCIS because that agency is largely funded through fees, rather than the appropriation of specific amounts of money from Congress.
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Anthony Weiner says his former boss Chuck Schumer is wrong on ObamacarePosted November 26, 2014 at 11:56 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Former Rep. Anthony Weiner (D) spoke out Wednesday against his former boss, Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), for saying Democrats made a mistake in pushing to pass Obamacare in the middle of the Great Recession.
Schumer made waves Tuesday for saying the push for the health care law was a political mistake, and that Democrats should have focused on ways to create jobs.Read More »
Watch: Dem implies whites not able to understand black reaction to FergusonPosted November 26, 2014 at 10:45 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Karen Bass (D-Calif.) implied Wednesday that white people may not have the capacity to understand the way blacks and other minorities are reacting to the events in Ferguson, and said non-minorities need to “take a deep breath” before reaching any final conclusions.
“One of the most important things that I think people need to do who are not African American, who are not Latino, is… just take a deep breath for one minute, and say, ‘maybe I don’t understand, maybe there’s something going on here that I need to look at,’ ” Bass said on CNN Wednesday morning.Read More »
U.N. Gangs Up on Israel, Approves Several Pro-Palestinian ResolutionsPosted November 26, 2014 at 9:28 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
The government wrote a 52-page report to show that people buy fast food to save timePosted November 25, 2014 at 4:39 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Department of Agriculture on Tuesday released a study that examined years of data to reach the conclusion that people buy fast food because it’s faster, and they want to save time.
That conclusion was quickly summarized near the top of the 52-page study: “Americans purchase fast food to save time.”Read More »
Saga of latest ‘fired’ VA official isn’t quite over yet, has right to appealPosted November 25, 2014 at 3:01 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Veterans Affairs announced Monday that it had “formally removed” Sharon Helman, former director of the Phoenix VA Healthcare System, from federal service.
That announcement led several members of Congress to praise the VA’s decision — Helman had become the poster child for corrupt VA officials that purposely manipulated wait time data for veterans seeking health care. Helman had been put on administrative leave since May 1, which led to further criticism that she continue to receive a paycheck.Read More »
Officials to Cough Up Documents That Could Show the IRS Gave Private Taxpayer Data to the White HousePosted November 25, 2014 at 1:50 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Watch: Chuck Schumer admits Dems should have focused on jobs, not ObamacarePosted November 25, 2014 at 1:05 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.), a member of the Democratic leadership in the Senate, admitted Tuesday that Democrats made a political error by pushing for passage of Obamacare in 2009 and 2010, and instead should have focused on jobs and the economy.
Schumer’s admission is essentially the same argument Republicans have made for the last several years — that Democrats and the Obama administration spent months working on health care when the main issue for most Americans was jobs and how to survive the Great Recession.Read More »
Food trucks escape Obamacare’s new rules on nutrition labelsPosted November 25, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
People who want to eat whatever they want without getting a guilt trip from nutrition labels may soon have to hide out in front of food trucks.
Food trucks increasingly offer gourmet choices for lunch, and are rolling up to office buildings in major cities all over the country. And in a new rule published by the Food and Drug Administration, food trucks will have the added feature of not having to tell you how many calories you’re eating.Read More »
House Dem says Ferguson shows ‘you may kill black men’ without consequencesPosted November 25, 2014 at 10:20 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Marcia Fudge (D-Ohio), who chairs the Congressional Black Caucus, said late Monday that the decision not to indict a police officer who shot and killed a black teenager shows that people can kill black men in America without any fear of going to jail.
“This decision seems to underscore an unwritten rule that black lives hold no value; that you may kill black men in this country without consequences or repercussions,” she said. “This is a frightening narrative for every parent and guardian of black and brown children, and another setback for race relations in America.”Read More »
Eric Holder: Federal civil rights case against Ferguson cop will continuePosted November 25, 2014 at 8:53 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Attorney General Eric Holder said late Monday night that the Justice Department’s civil rights investigation into the shooting death of 18-year-old Michael Brown would continue, even after a grand jury declined to indict the Ferguson, Missouri police officer who fired the shots.
“[T]he Justice Department’s investigation into the shooting of Michael Brown remains ongoing,” Holder said. “Even at this mature stage of the investigation, we have avoided prejudging any of the evidence.”Read More »
Rand Paul wants Congress to formally declare war against the Islamic StatePosted November 24, 2014 at 5:15 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) on Monday proposed a resolution that would have Congress officially declare war against the Islamic State, and also cites key portions of U.S. history showing that the Founding Fathers wanted Congress to be the body that declares war.
Congress agreed to let the Obama administration take some initial steps to fight the Islamic State, but most Republicans and Democrats agree that a formal authorization from Congress is needed for the longer term.Read More »
The Next Big Fight Between Obama and Congress: Iran SanctionsPosted November 24, 2014 at 4:33 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Watch: White House says everyone — including Al Sharpton — should pay their taxesPosted November 24, 2014 at 3:25 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
White House spokesman Josh Earnest advised Monday that all Americans should pay their taxes, after being asked whether it makes sense for President Barack Obama to take advice from Al Sharpton, who reportedly owes $4.5 million in personal taxes and unpaid taxes from his companies.
Sharpton routinely canoodles with Obama and is seen as something of an informal adviser. But a New York Times story reported last week that Sharpton still owes millions, and has a history of not paying taxes and stiffing hotels and other companies on money he owes those service providers.Read More »
White House admits it’s looking for someone ‘better suited’ to fight the Islamic StatePosted November 24, 2014 at 2:21 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
White House spokesman Josh Earnest on Monday acknowledged that the Obama administration is looking for a secretary of Defense who is more qualified than Secretary Chuck Hagel to prosecute the fight against the Islamic State.
Several news outlets reported Monday morning that Hagel was essentially pushed out of his job after criticisms mounted about how it has decided to fight the terrorist group. Earnest admitted this was the case in his daily press briefing with reporters.
“When Secretary Hagel was first nominated for this job, I believe that was at end of 2012… the threat that was posed by ISIL was not nearly as significant as it is now,” Earnest said. “And that has caused the threat that’s posed by ISIL to rise up to near the top of the priority list at the Department of Defense. And that wasn’t the case when Secretary Hagel first took office.”
Earnest said when Hagel arrived in early 2013, the department was facing other challenges, such as adjusting to some budget cuts and stopping sexual assault in the military.
“The priorities of the department, or at least of the new secretary, have changed, given changes in the international community,” Earnest said. “It doesn’t mean that Secretary Hagel hasn’t done an excellent job of managing these crises as they’ve cropped up.”
“But it does mean that as we consider the next remaining two years of the president’s time in office, that another secretary might be better suited to meet those challenges,” he added. “That was something that the two of them agreed.”
Just as President Barack Obama said in remarks earlier in the day, Earnest praised Hagel’s performance, and said Obama trusts Hagel completely to implement his defense policy. Some reporters noted that Hagel disagreed with Obama’s plans for Syria, and asked if that was a factor in Hagel’s departure, but Earnest rejected that.
Earnest also said Hagel and Obama together agreed that it was time for Hagel to go.
“Secretary Hagel and the president and convened a number of conversations, more than a month ago, about the president’s two remaining years in office, and the kinds of priorities that this administration, this country, would be facing when it comes to our foreign policy,” he said. “Over the course of the last month or so, the president and the secretary had a number of conversations and they determined that it would be best for the Pentagon to transition to new leadership.”
Earnest also held up the idea that it’s been routine for Obama to switch out his defense secretaries every two years. “It certainly is consistent with this pattern that we would have a new secretary of defense for the two remaining years of the presidency,” he said.
Earlier in the day, however, House Armed Services Committee Chairman Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) criticized Obama for changing secretaries yet again.
“The Obama administration is now in the market for their 4th secretary of defense,” he said. “When the president goes through three secretaries, he should ask ‘is it them, or is it me?’ “Read More »
The government would like you to talk about your family’s health history during ThanksgivingPosted November 24, 2014 at 1:09 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
If you’re running out of ways to have awkward, stilted conversations during Thanksgiving, the acting Surgeon General of the United States has a new idea — talk about your family’s health history.
Acting Surgeon General Boris Lushniak said Monday that Thanksgiving would be the 11th annual Family Health History Day, which should be used by people to “talk about and keep a record of the health problems that seem to run in their families.”Read More »
Obama Says Hagel Jumped, Despite Reports He Was PushedPosted November 24, 2014 at 11:59 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
White House relies on ‘theory,’ ‘academic literature’ to argue immigration move won’t hurt U.S. workersPosted November 24, 2014 at 10:30 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Despite its decision to give millions of illegal immigrants a chance to work in the United States, the Obama administration is insisting that its plan will have “no effect” on employment for U.S. citizens.
It reached that conclusion by relying on “theory” and “academic literature,” which it said indicates that adding thousands or even millions of people to the workforce just won’t matter.Read More »
Defense Secretary Hagel to Resign Under Pressure from ObamaPosted November 24, 2014 at 9:36 am by Pete Kasperowicz209 Comments »
Thousands of ‘Lost’ Lois Lerner Emails Suddenly Found by IRS WatchdogPosted November 21, 2014 at 5:33 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Lawmakers propose $5 million reward for info on Americans kidnapped, beheaded by Islamic StatePosted November 21, 2014 at 4:16 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
More than a dozen House lawmakers have introduced a bill creating a $5 million reward for information about the members of Islamic State who kidnapped and publicly murdered three Americans — James Foley, Peter Kassig and Steven Sotloff.
The State Department has a Rewards for Justice program that it can use to offer cash payments for information about Americans who are taken or killed overseas. The bill from Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) and others would require State to offer a reward for the Islamic State murders under that program.Read More »
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