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Senate omnibus spending bill laden with earmarks

Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., and others are devising a plan to require that the entire 1,924-page bill be read aloud on the Senate floor -- a move that could delay a final vote.

From Nextgov.com: Senate panel approves VA tech budget below president’s request

Omnibus spending bill also puts a hold on $742.8M until CIO outlines costs for IT projects.

House votes again to repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

Stand-alone bill seeks to pressure the Senate to act before adjournment and get a repeal measure to the White House.

Military academies report a 64 percent increase in sexual assault reports

Defense officials estimate fewer than 10 percent of incidents are actually reported at the academies.

Independents’ Day

The tax deal is just the kind of compromise that independents wish Washington would do more often.

From Nextgov.com: VA rolls out ‘smart home’ project to rehabilitate brain injury patients

Florida hospital uses technology to help veterans relearn basic but important tasks such as doing the laundry and shaving.

Solutions offered to reduce delays in confirming presidential appointees

Brookings scholars examine why previous reform proposals have been stalled by congressional partisanship and paperwork burdens.

Senate appropriator says he has the votes to pass catch-all spending bill

Package caps discretionary spending at $1.108 trillion, the level that Republicans demanded this year.

Energy secretary shoots down rumors that he plans to leave

Steven Chu says he will stick around as long as President Obama wants him.

Navy delays Littoral Combat Ship contract award

Original Dec. 14 deadline has been extended to Dec. 30 to give Congress more time to consider plans to award 10 ships apiece to two contractors.

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