Republicans Encourage Defense Contractors to Issue Layoff Notices Before the Election

By: Wednesday August 8, 2012 11:44 am

Defense contractors have come up with a particularly devious way to undermine the automatic cuts to the military budget in a way that could impact the Presidential election. Under the Worker Adjustment, Retraining and Notification (WARN) Act of 1988, government employees must be notified 60 days in advance of any layoffs. Defense contractors are taking [...]

Report: Lawmakers, Top Officials Knowingly Received VIP Loans from Countrywide

By: Thursday July 5, 2012 12:19 pm

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, Darrell Issa’s perch, has released a new report on the practice of now-defunct mortgage lender Countrywide handing out special mortgages at low rates to members of Congress and other key officials through their “VIP” program. And it does not appear to pick sides or divvy up the information [...]

Ryan Preps Republican Budget with Spending Cuts, Medicare Changes

By: Tuesday March 13, 2012 11:23 am

The New York Times writes of a divided House on the question of whether to submit a budget below the targets defined in the spending cap of the debt limit deal, between hardline conservatives and members of the Appropriations Committee. Trying to demonstrate anew their push to reduce the size of the government, conservative House [...]

More Republicans Found to Have Received Countrywide VIP Loans

By: Wednesday January 18, 2012 10:55 am

Rep. Pete Sessions (R-TX) has become the third House Republican discovered to have received a sweetheart loan as part of Countrywide’s “VIP” program. The program became notorious when conservatives jumped on the revelations that Democrats Chris Dodd and Kent Conrad received cheap loans through it. But it was always clear that influence peddling is a [...]

House Armed Services Chair McKeon: I’ll Block Defense Authorization Bill if Military Chaplains Can Perform Same-Sex Marriages

By: Monday October 10, 2011 8:55 am

Even in the Era of New Dysfunction, Congress usually manages to pass a defense authorization bill. The forces of nature demand that the war machine gets to set its budgets on time, even if the budgets for food stamps, welfare, the NIH, the Department of Education, etc., have to sit on pins and needles and [...]

Paltry Withdrawal Planned for Afghanistan in July

By: Wednesday May 11, 2011 6:40 am

Yesterday, news broke that the “substantial” withdrawal in July 2011 in Afghanistan consisted of maybe 5,000 troops now and another 5,000 by the end of the year. That’s about 10% of the active US military force in Afghanistan, not including thousands of contractors and 30,000 coalition troops from other countries and like. The word “maybe” [...]

Republican Lawmakers Wonder About Objective of Libya Operation

By: Monday March 21, 2011 6:50 am

If Barack Obama said the sky was blue, next week some Republican in the House would offer the “Sky is Green Act of 2011.” But honestly, I think this is a reasonable question from John Boehner: House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) on Sunday pressured President Obama to better explain the U.S.’s objectives in Libya before [...]

The View from the Grandstand: House Hearings Get Underway in Earnest

By: Thursday January 27, 2011 7:00 am

Yesterday definitely felt like a kickoff to House Republicans using the committee hearing process for their own ends. I wrote about the hearing in the Oversight Committee, where Darrell Issa tackled TARP and the foreclosure crisis. Issa stumbled a bit trying to say that banks should be broken up, but also, not: “I’m not for [...]

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