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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...

Obama's Budget Is Done. Now It's the GOP's Turn.

February 3, 2015 President Obama's budget arrived on Capitol Hill on Monday with zero chance of advancing. Now it's Republicans' turn to agree on a spending plan that can actually pass—if they can. With a slew of Republican lawmakers making it clear Monday that Obama's proposed 2016 budget will get nothing but a...

Lawmakers to Tackle Homeland Security Funding This Week

February 2, 2015 Partisan contrasts are always stark on Capitol Hill, but rarely more so than they will be this week. President Obama unveils next year's budget proposal Monday, so congressional Republicans and Democrats will use it as a vehicle to tout their own very different ideas about the state of the nation's...

Senate Set to Join Immigration Fight

January 27, 2015 Senate Republicans will start their attack on President Obama's immigration orders as early as next week, leaders announced Tuesday. With Republicans in both chambers unsure how far to push against Obama's executive action to defer deportations for undocumented young adults and parents of legal U.S. residents, the Senate will take...

DOT Embraces Automatic Braking and Other Safety Gizmos

January 26, 2015 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxxannounced last week that the automatic braking in cars will be added to the list of recommended safety features that make up its consumer advisory safety system. The inclusion of the braking system is part of a recommended set of features for new cars, but the star...

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