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Michael Posner

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Lawmakers question independence of shuttle probe

February 12, 2003 At the first congressional hearing into the Columbia space shuttle disaster Wednesday, both Republican and Democratic lawmakers strongly questioned whether a multi-agency special board created to investigate the disaster is truly independent of NASA. NASA Administrator Sean O'Keefe defended the independence of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board, headed by retired ...

Private spacecraft expected within two years, promoters say

February 11, 2003 The Columbia space shuttle catastrophe has put the U.S. human space flight program on hold, but private spacecraft builders say they will press on and predict a private space ship will be flown within two years. In a highly unusual, first-ever space competition, at least 20 entrepreneurs from at least ...

Republican lawmaker outlines priorities for lame-duck, next Congress

November 6, 2002 Newly empowered Republicans plan to press Senate Democrats for a speedy post-election, lame-duck session that could wrap up by the end of next week, Republicans said after winning control of both chambers of Congress. "There are some things that we should do and can do, but let's not drag it ...

Customs accused of failing to protect against nuclear smuggling

October 17, 2002 General Accounting Office officials told congressional investigators Thursday that the United States has supplied Russia with more sophisticated radiation detection equipment than the United States uses at its own borders. GAO said 70 portal radiation monitors supplied by the United States at a cost of $11.2 million have detected 275 ...

Senators praise, criticize EPA for Sept. 11 response

September 25, 2002 New York and New Jersey senators generally applauded the post-Sept. 11 work of EPA Administrator Christie Todd Whitman, but Manhattan activists treated her less gently. At a Senate Environment and Public Works hearing Tuesday, Whitman and Federal Emergency Management Agency director Joe Allbaugh received praise for their response after the ...

House panel backs bill to make agencies protect data

September 18, 2002 A bill to protect privacy of people and businesses that provide information to government statistical agencies cleared a House Government Reform subcommittee Tuesday. The legislation (H.R. 1152) was approved by voice vote in the Subcommittee on Government Efficiency, Financial Management and Intergovernmental Relations and sent on to the parent committee. ...

Homeland Security Department may take years to create

June 25, 2002 Comptroller General David Walker Tuesday presented Congress with a reality check: Getting the proposed Homeland Security Department up to speed could take years to accomplish and require a lot more money than anticipated. Walker, who heads the General Accounting Office, handed legislators a new 30-page report on President Bush's plan ...

Senate panel votes to let Patent Office keep fees

June 20, 2002 The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday to allow the Patent and Trademark Office to retain the estimated $1.5 billion in fees it collects rather than having the money go to the government's general fund. The legislation (S. 1754) proposed by Sen. Orrin Hatch, R-Utah, is aimed at helping improve ...

Senate panel authorizes $10 million for White House cybersecurity team

May 23, 2002 The Senate Judiciary Committee approved legislation Thursday authorizing $10 million to help a White House security squad battle Internet terrorism. The bill (S. 1989) authorizes the National Cybersecurity Defense Team headed by White House aide Richard Clarke. The squad includes representatives of the Central Intelligence Agency, Federal Bureau of Investigation ...

FBI reform bill clears Senate Judiciary Committee

April 25, 2002 Responding to a series of FBI scandals, the Senate Judiciary Committee Thursday approved a wide-ranging set of reforms, including a special monitor to oversee the fabled crime-fighting agency. The bipartisan legislation (S. 1974), which was sent to the Senate floor on a voice vote, grows out of a series of ...