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Who'll Play Defense?

Midterm elections are rarely a referendum on the party out of power.

Report: Congress spent $20 billion on earmarks for fiscal 2009

Alaska led the nation in pork with $322 per capita.

Cash-strapped Patent and Trademark Office awaits new leadership

Agency faces a backlog of more than 750,000 applications.

Watchdog agency calls for 3.5 percent increase in staff

Personnel shortages delayed 21 percent of GAO investigations in fiscal 2008.

Interior seeks public input on new offshore energy plan

Oil and gas development could be expanded, but department wants to boost wind and wave power as well.


Obama says government spending crucial to reinvigorating economy

President also defends “courageous” Pentagon procurement reforms.

Proposed rule increases oversight of program aiding disadvantaged businesses

Proof of contractors’ eligibility in the HUBZone program would be required under the Federal Acquisition Regulation.

USDA officials pitch in to help with White House garden

Secretary Tom Vilsack helps in planting, while scientists plan to provide parasite-resistant honey bees for pollination.


Pressure is on agencies to manage stimulus construction funds

Billions of dollars are at stake, but track record in overseeing such projects is decidedly mixed.

USDA secretary fills key posts in department

Janey Thornton, a former school nutrition director in Kentucky, will serve as deputy undersecretary for food, nutrition and consumer services.