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Reid says Senate will pass two-week spending extension this week

March 1, 2011 The Senate will consider a two-week stopgap bill "within 48 hours" to fund the federal government before turning its attention to a longer-term continuing resolution for fiscal 2011, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday. Reid's move came as the House on Tuesday approved a two-week CR, despite White ...

GAO report: Eliminating program duplication could save 'billions'

March 1, 2011 A Government Accountability Office report released on Tuesday concludes the federal government "could potentially save billions of taxpayer dollars annually" by "reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation" in federal government programs. The report was mandated by a provision included by Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in a bill passed last ...

Short-term spending deal doesn't lessen pressure on rest of year

February 28, 2011 The short-term deal on a continuing resolution that seems to have alleviated the threat of a government shutdown might do little to soften positions over a broader spending measure for the rest of the fiscal year. Senate Democrats have stopped just short of fully accepting a two-week GOP proposal that ...

Congress has time to work out spending deal

February 28, 2011 Congress has nearly a full work week to reach a deal on a continuing resolution and avert a government shutdown. Odds of a shutdown are long, because both House and Senate leaders fear the consequences. Talks, and the chance for compromise, will ramp up late in the week. But any ...

Senate Dems to propose seven-month funding measure

February 25, 2011 Senate Democrats are working on a seven-month continuing resolution to fund the government past March 4 that reduces spending below current levels, a concession they argue contrasts with House Republicans' refusal to negotiate. Democratic aides said the bill would cut $8.5 billion by eliminating previously approved earmarks. The bill would ...

Senate Democrats say they are open to more cuts

February 23, 2011 Senate Democratic leaders said on Tuesday they were willing to give ground on a bill to fund the government for the rest of the fiscal year, but a shutdown remained possible since that deal will likely not be cut before March 4, when the current continuing resolution expires. As evidence ...

Senate leader to offer 30-day stopgap spending measure

February 22, 2011 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., said Tuesday he will offer a 30-day continuing resolution that freezes spending at current levels and will dispatch his top aide to negotiate with the office of House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, on an agreement to fund the government for the rest of ...

Watchdog corrects report on improper political activity

February 8, 2011 The Office of Special Counsel has corrected errors related to Sen. Mike Johanns, R-Neb., in a report released last month asserting that former officials in the George W. Bush administration may have broken the law against political activity by federal employees. The OSC, which enforces federal workplace laws, had said ...

Probe, probed: Office of Special Counsel under attack

February 7, 2011 A government watchdog office, the Office of Special Counsel, is facing a deluge of questions from Capitol Hill Republicans over the legitimacy of a recent report that claims Bush administration officials systematically violated laws against political activity on the job. And now the OSC faces a House committee investigation of ...

Former OSC chief to spend at least a month in prison

February 3, 2011 A federal magistrate judge ruled Wednesday evening that Scott Bloch, the controversial former head of the Office of Special Counsel, must serve at least one month in prison for a misdemeanor contempt-of-Congress charge. Bloch pleaded guilty last year to withholding information from a House oversight committee that was investigating what ...