- 8:32 pm Tuesday, March 31st, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
There were more signs of friction between Congress and the Obama Administration over the Secret Service on Tuesday, as a House panel issued a subpoena for the closed door testimony of two agents, while the Department of Homeland Security chief accused Republicans of bad faith in the review of the troubled agency.
“It is disappointing the Department has declined to cooperate,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-UT), who accused the Obama Administration of refusing to allow Congress to hear privately from agents, not only about a March 4th episode outside the White House, but also more generally on issues inside the agency.
- 8:06 pm Monday, March 30th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
With the Congress out on a two week break for Easter, one lawmaker says it’s time for his colleagues to do more work in the Congress, urging the institution to limit time off and to force action on legislation.
“Average Americans work five days a week so there is no reason Congress should not be required to as well,” Rep. Scott Peters (D-CA) argues, as he put forth his “Fix Congress Now” plan.
Among his ideas:
+ A 5-day Congressional work week with the House in session every day
+ Required votes on bills within 60 days of their approval in committee
+ No budget [More]
- 8:37 pm Sunday, March 29th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
In yet another very public warning about advanced cell phone encryption techniques from Apple and Google, FBI Director James Comey says Congress may have to get involved to insure that police can use court approved search warrants to access private information on smartphones for legal searches.
“We have a huge problem,” the FBI Director told lawmakers at a budget hearing last week.
“I think ultimately it’s going to require some kind of legislative fix,” Comey added, worried that doing nothing will “create spaces that are behind the reach of the law in the United States.”
“I think we have to have a conversation [More]
- 8:26 am Friday, March 27th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
In a major retirement announcement, Senator Harry Reid (D-NV) revealed on Friday morning that he would not run for another term in the Senate in 2016, thanking voters of his home state for the chance to represent them since the late 1970’s.
“I want the people of the state of Nevada to know that I am so grateful,” Reid said.
“I have had time to ponder and to think,” Reid said, alluding to his time recovering from his workout accident earlier this year.
“We’ve got to be more concerned about the country, the Senate, the state of Nevada than ourselves,” Reid said [More]
- 11:06 am Thursday, March 26th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
A new report from internal investigators at the Justice Department found that officials at the Drug Enforcement Administration routinely ignored evidence of sexual misconduct by agents on foreign deployments, even though serious security questions were sometimes raised.
“We were particularly troubled by multiple allegations involving several DEA special agents participating in “sex parties” with prostitutes while working in an overseas office,” read a report from the Inspector General of the Justice Department.
Those parties were allegedly funded by the drug cartels that DEA agents were supposed to be monitoring.
“The foreign officers further alleged that in addition to soliciting prostitutes, three DEA SSAs [More]
- 8:56 pm Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Overcoming internal disagreements, Republicans on Wednesday pushed a budget blueprint through the House which would balance the budget by 2024, mainly by squeezing trillions of dollars in savings from social benefit programs.
“Today, the House passed a pro-growth, balanced budget that establishes a stark contrast between our vision for the future, and that of the President,” said Speaker John Boehner after the vote in a written statement.
It was an important victory for Boehner, who has struggled to keep Republicans together in the House in recent months on a variety of issues.
The vote was 228-199, with 17 Republicans voting against the budget [More]
- 10:02 am Wednesday, March 25th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
A new report from the Internal Revenue Service shows that federal workers and those who have retired from careers with Uncle Sam owe over $3.5 billion in back taxes to the United States Treasury, an increase of over $200 million from a year earlier.
The IRS figures break down like this:
Current civilian federal workers – 113,805 owe $1.14 billion (up 6 percent from 2013)
Retired civilian federal workers – 50,825 owe $602 million (up 8.2 percent)
Active duty military – 20,608 owe $57.3 million (down 40 percent)
Military reserve/guard – 30,787 owe $164 million (down 9.3 percent)
Retired military – 91,677 owe $1.57 billion (up [More]
- 9:01 pm Tuesday, March 24th, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
A federal appeals court has set two hours of arguments next month on the Obama Administration’s effort to lift an injunction against the President’s executive actions on immigration, as the Fifth Circuit set hearings on the matter for April 17 in New Orleans.
“Each side will be allowed one hour,” the court’s clerk Lyle Cayce wrote in a memo to the Justice Department and a group of states led by Texas, which has challenged the President’s move to grant a temporary legal status to some 4-5 million people now in the United States illegally.
The schedule means that by the time the [More]
- 7:24 pm Monday, March 23rd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
Monday afternoon brought one of my favorite events of each year, when two Justices from the U.S. Supreme Court walk across the street to the U.S. Capitol, and ask lawmakers for the necessary funds to run the court’s operations for the next fiscal year.
“We’re always very, very careful, very cautious about budgetary expenditures,” Justice Anthony Kennedy told lawmakers on a House spending panel, as he and Justice Stephen Breyer submitted a Supreme Court budget request that is down 1.1 percent from a year ago.
“The budget for the Supreme Court is just a small part of the budget for the courts [More]
- 11:04 am Monday, March 23rd, 2015 by Jamie Dupree
The first big name is in the Republican race for the White House, as Sen. Ted Cruz of Texas used a speech at Liberty University in Virginia to announce that he is running in 2016.
Cruz was not ignored by the major news media, as the screenshot of my multiple TV channel feed in the U.S. Capitol demonstrates:
Yes, the only non-Cruz coverage was on C-SPAN, where Hillary Clinton was joining a roundtable on urban issues in Washington, D.C. (Cruz was carried by C-SPAN2.)
In his speech, Cruz repeatedly focused on what he labeled, “the promise of America,” arguing that the American [More]