Pete Kasperowicz turns up the heat in Washington, providing an inside look into Congress
Broken VA finds time to offer advice about… using sunscreenPosted July 24, 2014 at 8:57 am by Pete Kasperowicz
In the midst of major scandal in which the Department of Veterans Affairs delayed veterans’ requests for healthcare for several years and then systematically worked to cover its tracks, the VA has found time to write a blog post urging readers to wear sunscreen during the hot summer months.
“It’s getting easier to go outside and enjoy the sunshine,” the top blog on the VA website declares. “Why? Because researchers have learned so much about the importance of regularly protecting our skin.”Read More »
Lawmaker sees momentum for defunding Obama’s deferred deportation policyPosted July 23, 2014 at 4:45 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) on Wednesday pitched her House Republican colleagues on legislation to defund President Barack Obama’s controversial policy of deferring deportation for some illegal immigrants, and said she’s hearing positive feedback on her idea.
“We had a good immigration discussion,” she told TheBlaze of her talk with GOP colleagues Wednesday morning. “I have to tell you, I think that members locked onto the fact that, yes, that 2008 law is a problem, but what is more problematic and what has accelerated the rate of illegal cross-border trips… is this executive order, the DACA.”Read More »
State goes after Ted Cruz on FAA’s ban on flights to IsraelPosted July 23, 2014 at 3:48 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
State Department Spokeswoman Marie Harf on Wednesday said Sen. Ted Cruz (R-Texas) made “ridiculous and offensive” comments earlier in the day for criticizing the Obama administration’s decision to temporarily ban U.S. flights to Israel, while at the same time continuing foreign aid that will go to the terrorist group Hamas.
In a briefing with reporters, Harf said the decision was made to ensure U.S. citizens are protected while Israel faces missile attacks, and said Cruz was out of line for suggesting any deeper political motives.Read More »
Watch: Rep. Gowdy slams IRS commissioner for dragging feet on congressional investigationPosted July 23, 2014 at 2:53 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) on Wednesday slammed IRS Commissioner John Koskinen for failing to help answer questions about Congress’s investigation into the IRS targeting scandal, and instead arguing that he can’t do anything while the Inspector General’s investigation into the IRS is ongoing.
Koskinen appeared before the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, where he said several times that he was unable to help answer some of Congress’s questions because of the IG investigation. But Gowdy said there are no rules prohibiting Koskinen from helping more.Read More »
The Next Big Problem at the IRS: Low Worker MoralePosted July 23, 2014 at 1:39 pm by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
GOP lawmaker to IRS on lost Lois Lerner emails: ‘You weren’t ever gonna tell us until we caught you’Posted July 23, 2014 at 1:01 pm by Pete Kasperowicz
Rep. Jim Jordan (R-Ohio) said Wednesday that he believes the IRS was never going to tell Congress about the lost Lois Lerner emails until they were forced to admit it in light of an email that was uncovered by Judicial Watch in a Freedom of Information Act request.
“I think you were never going to tell us,” Jordan said to IRS Commissioner John Koskinen at a subcommittee hearing he chaired Wednesday.Read More »
IRS commissioner not worried that Lerner’s hard drive may have been ‘scratched’ on purposePosted July 23, 2014 at 11:44 am by Pete Kasperowicz
IRS Commissioner John Koskinen on Wednesday downplayed the idea that Lois Lerner’s hard drive may have been purposefully scratched in order to hide information from congressional investigators, and said he’s not concerned that this may have happened.
Koskinen was in front of a subcommittee of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, just a day after the House Ways & Means Committee said it learned that Lerner’s hard drive was “scratched,” and that her emails may have been recoverable. Ways & Means said it was not clear whether the scratch happened on purpose.Read More »
GOP proposes tighter border security, faster deportations, National Guard help as part of border planPosted July 23, 2014 at 10:14 am by Pete Kasperowicz
A House Republican working group on Wednesday released a set of 12 principles for dealing with the southern border crisis, which includes sending National Guardsmen to the border, expediting the deportation of unaccompanied minors, and forcing the government to devise a plan for gaining operational control of the border.
Rep. Kay Granger (R-Texas), who chaired the group, presented the proposals to House Republicans in the morning, and the ideas are expected to find their way into legislation as early as this month.Read More »
11 of 12 Fake Obamacare Applicants Got Coverage in GAO InvestigationPosted July 23, 2014 at 9:39 am by Pete KasperowiczRead More »
Dems want to give government power over company work schedulesPosted July 23, 2014 at 8:51 am by Pete Kasperowicz
Democrats in the House and Senate are proposing new changes to the law that would allow workers to make requests about their work schedule without fear of retaliation from their bosses, and in some cases would require companies to accept these requests.
The Schedules That Work Act would also allow the Department of Labor to investigate when companies fail to adhere to these new rules. That includes subpoena power, and the power to force companies to pay workers damages when they are found to be in violation.Read More »
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 Kasperowicz223 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 »
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- Ted Cruz, Vampire Slayer? A new poster targeting HBO is about to hit Hollywood
- Lawmaker sees momentum for defunding Obama's deferred deportation policy
- Do Bill and Hillary have a 'special arrangement?'
- State goes after Ted Cruz on FAA's ban on flights to Israel
- Watch: Rep. Gowdy slams IRS commissioner for dragging feet on congressional investigation