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White House veto threat looms over postal bill negotiations

February 15, 2006 Now that sweeping postal legislation has cleared the Senate, the bill's champions are gearing up for what will likely be a contentious conference. Aides in both chambers say it will be relatively easy to reconcile House and Senate differences, but resolving issues dealing with the White House's looming veto threat...

Postal overhaul bill finally passes Senate, heads to conference

February 9, 2006 Sweeping postal overhaul legislation passed the Senate by unanimous consent today after the sponsors made changes to appease critics. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Collins and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., added amendments that finally dislodged the bill, which had been stalled on the floor. The manager's amendment included...

Senators lift holds on postal reform bill, paving way for vote

February 8, 2006 Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., has lifted his hold on sweeping postal overhaul legislation, clearing the way for the measure to be approved by the full Senate. Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., also had a hold on the bill, which he released earlier this week, postal lobbyists said. Sessions' spokesman said he...

Panel weighs bill to deny corrupt public servants federal pensions

February 1, 2006 House Government Reform Chairman Tom Davis, R-Va., will add his voice Wednesday to the cacophony of lawmakers pushing for more stringent ethics laws in the wake of recent scandals. Davis plans to introduce a narrowly tailored ethics overhaul measure denying retirement benefits to federal policymakers -- including members of Congress...

Senate panel leaders slam FEMA's Katrina response

January 31, 2006 Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, Monday admonished the Federal Emergency Management Agency, as well as local and state agencies, for allowing "bureaucracy at its worst" to slow preparations for rescue and evacuation in the days before Hurricane Katrina hit. At a hearing Monday on the...

Postal overhaul bill held up in Senate

January 27, 2006 A sweeping postal overhaul bill that Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, and Sen. Thomas Carper, D-Del., had hoped to see approved by unanimous consent this week has been stalled after a handful of senators expressed concerns about the bill's budget impact and other provisions. Sens....

Postal Service lobbies against reform bill

January 26, 2006 With the Senate poised to vote this week on a long-stalled postal overhaul measure, Postal Service management has suggested scrapping the legislation. Taking up the bill under unanimous consent became possible Wednesday after Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Collins, the bill's sponsor, reached an agreement with Sen. Christopher...

Funding shortfalls cited for setbacks in storm response drill

January 24, 2006 A Senate panel examined on Tuesday why a hurricane-planning exercise involving a mock storm did not leave officials better prepared for when an actual storm hit. Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Chairwoman Susan Collins, R-Maine, described a series of planning setbacks and funding shortfalls that caused the simulation -- first...

House bill sets up corporation for Katrina redevelopment

December 16, 2005 Despite opposition from some conservative Republicans, the House Financial Services Committee approved a bill Thursday that would establish a government-operated corporation to redevelop areas of Louisiana hit by Hurricane Katrina. The measure also would direct the spending of $17 billion already appropriated for hurricane relief to rebuilding communities and providing...

White House announces levee reconstruction plan

December 15, 2005 The White House announced Thursday that it would devote $3.1 billion over the next two years for the reconstruction of key levees in New Orleans to prevent flooding from future hurricanes. At a briefing for reporters, officials said $1.6 billion will go toward an immediate shoring up of damaged levees...

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