Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
GOP demands answers on DACA approvals, rejectionsPosted August 29, 2014 at 4:44 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The top Republicans on the House and Senate Judiciary Committees on Friday demanded that the Obama administration hand over key information about its deferred deportation program for illegal immigrants, including how many have been approved under the program, and why officials don’t do more to verify the information received by these immigrants.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Senate Judiciary ranking member Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) wrote a letter to Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson that asked him dozens of these questions ranging from basic data to deeper policy-related issues.Read More »
Government publishes detailed instructions on how to safely roast marshmallowsPosted August 29, 2014 at 4:11 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Forest Service on Friday published a nearly 700-word article on how to safely roast marshmallows, all in preparation for Saturday, which is National Roasted Marshmallow Day.
As one might expect, the article is riddled with safety tips that might make you think twice about even carrying matches into the forest at all, let alone actually igniting a marshmallow and putting your family’s life at risk.
Read More »
White House spokesman says border crisis over ‘for now’Posted August 29, 2014 at 2:44 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
White House Spokesman Josh Earnest said Friday that the crisis at the southern U.S. border is over given the reduced number of unaccompanied children coming across.
Earnest was asked by a reporter whether those reduced numbers mean the crisis is over. Earnest replied, “for now.”Read More »
White House Hints Obama May Delay Controversial Immigration Moves Until After the ElectionPosted August 29, 2014 at 1:28 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Senate GOP to push for vote to block Obama’s amnesty plansPosted August 29, 2014 at 12:07 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Jeff Sessions (R-Ala.) said Thursday that Senate Republicans will look to force a vote in the coming weeks on legislation that would block President Barack Obama from expanding an amnesty for millions of illegal immigrants.
“We’re going to demand a vote on the House-passed bill, which bars the president from expending any money to execute another five- to six-million-person amnesty,” Sessions said on Mark Levin’s radio show Thursday. “That is perfectly legal and proper for Congress to do.”Read More »
Lawmaker: Nerds, geeks needed to find Lois Lerner’s emailsPosted August 29, 2014 at 10:41 am by Pete Kasperowicz
After months of unsuccessful attempts to badger the IRS into handing over Lois Lerner’s supposedly lost emails, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) is proposing a last, desperate measure: calling in the nerds and geeks.
“These things are backed up,” he said on Fox News. “I believe we need to bring in the nerds, bring in the tech geeks, and I think they will show and demonstrate that we can recover these emails. At least I’d like to try.”
Read More »
Another problem for veterans: VA can’t get medical records from DODPosted August 29, 2014 at 9:24 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Department of Veterans Affairs’ Office of Inspector General has released a new report saying the VA is having major problems getting medical records from the Department of Defense.
The VA itself has been shown to be a broken agency filled with systemic problems related to delays in getting veterans health care, and attempts to cover up those delays. But the VA’s OIG report indicated at the Defense Department may be contributing to the VA’s inability to deliver care promptly.Read More »
How much is the Department of Interior spending on conferences? Don’t ask the Department of InteriorPosted August 28, 2014 at 4:36 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
A new report released Thursday says the Department of Interior is not tracking the money it spends on conferences, and is failing to report conference costs publicly, a violation of the Obama administration’s own policy.
The department’s Office of Inspector General’s report noted that the White House Office of Management and Budget has set out rules for conference spending, but said the Department of Interior isn’t following them at all.Read More »
Obama administration offers free ‘back to school’ tips, including what to pack for lunchPosted August 28, 2014 at 2:59 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Parents who might be growing nervous about sending their kids back to school this fall have nothing to fear, as the Obama administration has reams of free advice for both parents and students — right down to what you should pack in your kid’s school lunch.
This week, the Food and Drug Administration posted four different tips for a “healthy and stress-free lunchbox,” although much of the advice seems like a lot of hard work.
Read More »
Lawmaker rips DHS for ignoring questions on illegal immigrant transfers to ArizonaPosted August 28, 2014 at 1:29 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Paul Gosar (R-Ariz.) on Thursday accused the Department of Homeland Security for ignoring his questions about what authority the department has to transfer illegal immigrants to Arizona and other states, often without giving any notice to those states.
Gosar’s staff asked this question of DHS staff more than three months ago, and even followed up with a letter to DHS after being told Gosar himself needed to ask them himself. But even after that second attempt, DHS has not replied, which Gosar said is an “insult.”Read More »
Republicans propose Syria travel restrictions to stop Americans from helping Islamic StatePosted August 28, 2014 at 12:12 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Republicans in the House are pushing for passage of a bill that would put new restrictions on U.S. travel to Syria, which they hope will make it harder for the Islamic State to recruit U.S. fighters.
The bill from Rep. Frank Wolf (R-Va.) was introduced back in March, but it could start to enjoy widespread support in light of the news that two Americans may have died fighting for the Islamic State in Syria this week.Read More »
Key lawmaker says Islamic State poses ‘as dangerous a threat matrix’ as he’s ever seenPosted August 28, 2014 at 11:06 am by Pete Kasperowicz
House Intelligence Committee Chairman Mike Rogers (R-Mich.) said late Wednesday that the ability of the Islamic State to draw fighters from Europe, Canada and America poses a major security threat to the United States that must be dealt with immediately.
“This is as dangerous a threat matrix as I have ever seen in my time on the Intel Committee, which is about 10 years,” Rogers said on Fox News Wednesday night. “It is serious. We need to address it.”
Read More »
Are There Still 8.1 Million People Enrolled in Obamacare? GOP Senators Demand an UpdatePosted August 28, 2014 at 9:51 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
FDA sides with your parents, says tattoos hurt, could cause infectionPosted August 27, 2014 at 4:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Food and Drug Administration is warning people that getting a tattoo comes with several risks, including the possibility of being infected with HIV or hepatitis, allergic reactions, and other skin problems.
And if you ever decide to remove your tattoo later, the FDA is warning about “pain and high costs.”Read More »
Justice Department watchdog investigating $854K in payments to Amtrak secretaryPosted August 27, 2014 at 3:55 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
The Justice Department’s Office of Inspector General says it is investigating wasteful payments of $854,000 over 19 years to an Amtrak secretary for providing ridership information to the Drug Enforcement Agency that the DEA should have been able to get for free.
Sen. Charles Grassley (R-Iowa) highlighted the excessive payments earlier this month, and said this apparent case of wasteful spending was highlighted in an OIG assessment of Amtrak. That report listed the payments as an issue that could be the subject of a criminal action.Read More »
Steve King Threatens Government Shutdown Over Obama’s Pending Immigration MovePosted August 27, 2014 at 2:20 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Does it matter that Lois Lerner’s Blackberry was ‘wiped clean’? Maybe…Posted August 27, 2014 at 12:49 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
An IRS official told a federal court last week that the Blackberry used by former IRS official Lois Lerner was “wiped clean” in 2012, soon after Congress starting probing what would later become known as the IRS targeting scandal.
But according to the government watchdog group Judicial Watch, an IRS lawyer also said last week that the government has a backup system that should retain the emails of Lerner and other IRS workers.Read More »
CBO slashes GDP expectations in half for 2014Posted August 27, 2014 at 11:14 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Congressional Budget Office on Wednesday said it expects the U.S. economy to grow by just 1.5 percent in 2014, a 50 percent cut from the prediction it made six months ago.
Back in February, CBO predicted that U.S. gross domestic product would see a 3.1 percent increase. But it’s latest report on the budgetary and economic outlook said surprising weakness in the first half of the year will significantly reduce that more optimistic estimate.Read More »
USDA announces breakthrough for people with peanut allergiesPosted August 27, 2014 at 10:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The U.S. Department of Agriculture announced Tuesday that researchers at North Carolina’s A&T University have discovered a way to treat peanuts to reduce their allergic effects on people.
The breakthrough has the potential to end the suffering of millions of people with peanut allergies, and could allow them to eat peanuts in any form. USDA said the breakthrough is also showing promise in reducing the effects of wheat allergies.
Read More »
FCC takes steps to lower the volume of TV advertisementsPosted August 27, 2014 at 9:21 am by Pete Kasperowicz
The Federal Communications Commission on Wednesday published a final rule that is expected to lower the volume of television ads beginning in 2015.
The FCC rule is its latest action under the Commercial Advertisement Loudness Mitigation Act, or the CALM Act. That 2010 law bans broadcasters from running ads at volumes that are higher than the TV shows they support, and is a reaction to complaints from viewers about the spike in volume that seemed to accompany many TV ads.Read More »
Final Report on Phoenix VA Finds 20 Veteran Deaths Linked to Poor Access, Shoddy CarePosted August 26, 2014 at 4:54 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Senate Dem demands plan for dealing with Islamic State, plus congressional authorizationPosted August 26, 2014 at 3:04 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Sen. Tim Kaine (D-Va.) warned this week that the Obama administration must seek out congressional authority for any military action against the Islamic State, and also called on officials to develop a full strategy for engagement against the terrorist group before acting.
“I agree that ISIL poses a significant terrorist threat to U.S. interests and partners in the region, which is why the administration has initiated military action against the group,” Kaine said. “But I do not believe that our expanded military operations against ISIL are covered under existing authorizations from Congress.”Read More »
Lawmaker slams Obama’s American Legion speech: ‘No one has been fired as a result of the VA scandal’Posted August 26, 2014 at 1:40 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Veterans’ Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) blasted President Barack Obama Tuesday for claiming that the broken Department of Veterans Affairs is being repaired, and said the absence of decisions to fire officials involved in the VA health care scandal show this is not the case.
Miller also said Congress’s requests for information and updates continue to be stonewalled.Read More »
GOP probes $600,000 for posters, $100,000 book club, other wasteful spending at Department of LaborPosted August 26, 2014 at 12:16 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
House Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is asking the Department of Labor for all information about a series of wasteful spending, including spending $600,000 on posters for the department’s elevators, and $100,000 to promote a book club.
“[D]ocuments obtained by the committee appear to show a pattern of wasteful spending and mismanagement at DOL,” Issa wrote to Labor Secretary Tom Perez on Monday.Read More »
Obama Administration Promoting Workplace Rights for All, ‘Regardless of Immigration Status’Posted August 26, 2014 at 11:08 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
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