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Matthew Cooper

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Analysis: Why Republicans need to get FEMA right

August 29, 2012 Before there was Katrina or Isaac, there was Andrew. In 1992, 20 years ago almost to this very week, the Category 5 hurricane struck Florida. It was then the costliest hurricane in U.S. history, and the federal government’s botched response earned scorn for the Federal Emergency Management Agency, charged with ...

Is Ryan really a fiscal hawk?

August 15, 2012 Back in November of 2003, the White House was worried. So were House Republican leaders. At issue: President George W. Bush had to use all of his political clout to get enough House Republicans to pass his proposed Medicare prescription-drug benefit. Many House Republicans balked at the cost, and some ...

How Biden and Ryan stack up

August 13, 2012 When Joe Biden and Paul Ryan debate in Danville, Kentucky on October 11, it’ll be one of the more interesting moments in American politics and it will be the test for Paul Ryan. It’ll be a big moment for the country, too: It’s the first time two Roman Catholic running ...

Suicide of lawmaker's nephew leads to military anti-hazing bill

May 7, 2012 A group of House members announced on Monday that they have introduced a bill to prevent hazing in the armed services, prompted partly by the suicide last year of a nephew of Rep. Judy Chu, D-Calif., while he was a U.S. Marine stationed in Afghanistan. The bill would create a ...

Tax cut deal boosts retirement contributions for new feds

February 16, 2012 Late Wednesday night, congressional negotiators said they had reached an agreement that extended the payroll tax holiday for millions of Americans. The deal came after a roller coaster day of negotiations, less than 24 hours after a tentative agreement had been struck. The emerging compromise had earned the wrath of ...

Capital relieved as payroll measure clears House

December 23, 2011 This story has been updated. With Christmas approaching, the House of Representatives approved a temporary extension of the payroll tax cut, allaying fears that Congress would need to return before its Holiday recess ends in mid January. As late as this morning there were fears that at least one House ...

Senate leaders hopeful spending deal can be worked out

December 15, 2011 As the holidays approach and the government runs out of money on Friday, lawmakers are still fighting over tax and spending issues that are keeping them in Washington -- the third such showdown this year. At issue are two major pieces of legislation that have become intertwined. The first is ...

How could Rick Perry get rid of the Commerce Department?

November 10, 2011 Let's take Rick Perry seriously, despite his brain freeze during last night's debate. He wants to abolish the Commerce Department. The department is almost 100 years old, founded in 1913. It came about during the end of the Taft administration to be the business counterpart to the Department of Labor. ...

Obama to name former utility executive as Commerce chief

May 31, 2011 President Obama will nominate a noted utility executive, John Bryson, to be the next Commerce Secretary later Tuesday. If confirmed, Bryson would succeed Gary Locke, whom Obama has named as the next U.S. ambassador to China. Bryson brings environmental bona fides to the job: In 1970, he was one of ...

Obama thanks troops involved in bin Laden raid

May 6, 2011 Just five days after he disclosed a daring raid that led to Osama bin Laden's death and the day after he laid a wreath at Ground Zero, President Obama traveled to Fort Campbell in Kentucky where he thanked members of Seal Team 6 who were involved in the raid on ...