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There's an IRS Investigation That's Bipartisan and Leak-Free

March 26, 2015 The Senate Finance Committee's investigations team is highly caffeinated. How else could it have gotten through more than a million pages of documents in the last two years? There is an art to the kind of mind-numbing digging that these sleuths do. They set weekly goals for the number of ...

Congressional Outlook: A Week of Partisan Votes and Bad Blood

March 16, 2015 Even when senators don't intend to be controversial, they manage to find their way there anyway. No one can say quite how it happened, but legislation that was supposed to represent a Kumbaya moment in the Senate last week appears to be headed in the opposite direction. A bipartisan bill ...

After Rough Week, Senate to Take Bipartisan Turn

March 9, 2015 It's been a rocky few weeks in Congress. Lawmakers need a break from brinksmanship and blaming. In that spirit, the Senate this week will vote on something everyone agrees on—combatting human trafficking. The House is taking a breather for a mid-winter recess and will reconvene on March 16. The week ...

Another Week, Another Shutdown Deadline

March 2, 2015 What a difference a week doesn't make. On Friday, Congress faced a deadline to fund the Homeland Security Department before midnight. Democrats wanted a clean long-term funding bill, while Republicans wanted to block President Obama's executive action on immigration or—at least—force the Senate to go to conference on a measure ...

Congress Delays Homeland Security Shutdown Through Friday

March 1, 2015 What a difference a week doesn't make. On Friday, Congress faced a deadline to fund the Homeland Security Department before midnight. Democrats wanted a clean long-term funding bill, while Republicans wanted to block President Obama's executive action on immigration or—at least—force the Senate to go to conference on a measure ...

Senator Wants Commerce Committee to be Big Player in Cybersecurity Legislation

February 24, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow In a partisan climate that spells doom for the vast majority of issues, there are at least two policy arenas left where Republicans, Democrats, and the White House can plausibly come together on important legislation this year—cybersecurity and infrastructure. It just so happens that the Senate Commerce Committee owns a ...

Congress Returns With No Plan to Avoid Shutdown

February 23, 2015 In these final days before the Homeland Security Department is due to shut down, two things are certain: One, the Senate will hold its fourth vote Monday to start debate on a DHS funding bill that also would scrap President Obama's executive action to defer deportations for some 4 million ...

Will New Drone Regulations Stifle Innovation?

February 17, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Cory Booker, the gregarious junior senator from New Jersey, likes drones. He thinks they offer a host of economic growth possibilities to agriculture, infrastructure, and basic commerce. I didn't know he was into drones until he brought it up at a hearing last week on the "Internet of Things," a ...

Homeland Funding Path Murky as Recess—and a Shutdown—Loom

February 9, 2015 Congress has one week before funding for the Homeland Security Department morphs from a stalemate into a crisis. With a weeklong President's Day recess looming, Republicans and Democrats are still blaming each other for the potential shutdown of the agency. Funding runs out on Feb. 27—four days after they return—if ...

Techie Alert! The Transportation Department Needs You

February 9, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow One of the smugger observations about the Transportation Department's new working paper on the country's 30-year infrastructure outlook came from the tech-central news site CNET: "What might seem run-of-the-mill in the San Francisco Bay Area these days impressed the high-ranking Washington politico." Wayne Cunningham, the CNET writer, was referring to ...