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TARP oversight agencies ask Treasury, Fed for answers

March 31, 2009 The three agencies deputized to ride herd on the $3 trillion in federal bailout programs implored Congress on Tuesday to turn up the heat on the Treasury Department and Federal Reserve to explain the 12 programs or continue to see an erosion of public support. At an oversight hearing by ...

Interior chief says agency prepared for stimulus projects

February 13, 2009 Interior Secretary Ken Salazar said Thursday his agency, with a huge backlog of "shovel-ready" construction projects, is ready and waiting to start work on scores of improvements in national parks and Indian reservations financed from the $2.9 billion for his agency in the $790 billion economic stimulus package. Following his ...

Uproar over tanker contract continues as lawmakers clash

April 18, 2008 Threatening to derail the Air Force's selection of a foreign-designed air tanker to refuel military warplanes, a group of lawmakers led a Capitol Hill rally of American aerospace workers Thursday and pledged to shoot down the deal. As the senators and representatives lined up at a news conference with Boeing ...

Senate Democrats approve budget on partisan vote

March 7, 2008 Split down party lines, the Senate Budget Committee Thursday moved its fiscal 2009 budget plan to the floor after staving off Republican efforts to rewrite key elements of the process. By a 12-10 margin, the 23-member panel voted to approve a $3 trillion blueprint that would set the spending and ...

Senators clash with NASA chief on speed of space transition

February 28, 2008 Complaining that President Bush's fiscal 2009 proposed $17.6 billion NASA budget would slow the agency's transition from the manned space-shuttle program to a capability for exploration of the solar system, senators from both parties Wednesday questioned whether the administration correctly weighed the risks in relying on Russia to ferry American ...

Senate panel votes to raise federal judges' pay

February 1, 2008 After staving off an bid to reduce the size of a pay hike, the Senate Judiciary Committee approved and sent to the floor a bill to raise the pay of federal judges by 32 percent. Voting 10-7 to pass the bill (S. 1683), the panel granted judges from district, appellate ...

GAO chief reprises warning of unsustainable deficits

January 29, 2008 Humming the same tune he's been singing in a tour of the nation, Government Accountability Office chief David Walker warned senators Tuesday that the federal budget is spiraling out of control and that little time remains to steer it to safer ground. Driven by a combination of soaring healthcare costs ...

IG: Coal safety agency stinting on mine inspections

November 30, 2007 The Labor Department's inspector general is highlighting the parallel between a decline in coal mine inspections and an increase in fatal accidents -- a conclusion the administration says is based on faulty numbers. Inspector General Gordon Heddell released a report recently that showed between 2002 and 2006, the Mine Safety ...

USDA food official: Agency has all authority it needs

November 8, 2007 A top Agriculture Department official told the House Agriculture Livestock Subcommittee Wednesday that the agency has enough tools to ensure food safety compliance and will not need legislation to mandate recalls of tainted beef. USDA Undersecretary for Food Safety Richard Raymond repeatedly rejected the notion that he lacks the authority ...

House panel reviews Congress' power to overrule rulemakers

November 7, 2007 More than a decade ago, an assertive new Republican majority in Congress passed legislation that its sponsors, led by former House Speaker Newt Gingrich, R-Ga., hoped would rein in federal rulemakers whom they contended imposed obnoxious restraints on businesses and certain taxpayers. The law, called the Congressional Review Act, was ...