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Super Bowl blackout could energize a debate on power grid

February 5, 2013 FROM NEXTGOV arrow Questions remain over what caused the half-hour power outage during Sunday’s Super Bowl in New Orleans. What is clear is that advocates of improving the nation’s energy infrastructure see it as a metaphor. “I think any of you who watched the Super Bowl last night know that energy is not ...

Who is Mary Jo White, Obama's choice for top Wall Street cop?

January 24, 2013 Mary Jo White, the woman President Obama plans to nominate on Thursday to lead the Securities and Exchange Commission, has earned her share of superlatives over a long, storied career. Here’s what you need to know about White, who could become the nation’s next top financial cop: She would be ...

Treasury has options on debt ceiling but all of them are ugly

January 14, 2013 If past is precedent, the Treasury Department has four responses to bumping up against the nation’s borrowing limit, none of them great. Unless Congress acts, the federal government will likely hit its debt ceiling sometime between Feb. 15 and March 1, according to a recent analysis by the Bipartisan Policy ...

What Treasury secretary Jack Lew would need to do

January 11, 2013 If confirmed as the next head of the Treasury Department, White House Chief of Staff Jacob Lew will be tagging into an immediate three-round fight, with a long tournament ahead. Over the coming 75 days, the White House will rely heavily on its Treasury secretary in battles over the federal ...

The latest debt-ceiling proposal: Issue IOU's

January 10, 2013 The $1 trillion platinum coin seems too wacky; the 14th amendment too risky. But could IOU's be the solution to an impasse on raising the nation's borrowing limit? Yes, and President Obama should publicly adopt the idea, Edward Kleinbard, a University of Southern California law professor and former chief of ...

The Emergency Debt Plan That Would Put U.S. Citizens Second

January 8, 2013 In just a few weeks, the federal government won’t be able to pay all its bills on time. If that happens, the nation could start paying its lenders, many of them foreign, before its citizens. At some point no later than March 1, the government will reach what the Bipartisan ...

The 5 top Republicans open to shutting down government to get their way

January 7, 2013 The fiscal-cliff deal wasn’t great for Republican priorities, but some in the party say that a government shutdown could help them get their way. In last week’s compromise, many Republicans were forced to agree to a tax hike on wealthy Americans -- albeit at a threshold higher than President Obama ...

Obama 'modestly optimistic' on fiscal cliff deal

December 28, 2012 President Obama on Friday said he was "modestly optimistic" that lawmakers would be able to avert the fiscal cliff of expiring tax cuts and automatic spending reductions. Following an afternoon meeting with congressional leaders at the White House, the leaders agreed that Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., and Senate ...

How to delay a national default in 3 steps

December 28, 2012 So how does a country that can’t borrow anymore stave off default? Mostly, it needs to just stop investing in things. Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner told Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., in a letter this week that the nation will reach its debt limit—a cap on how much it ...

GOP Plan B lowers taxes on certain wealthy households

December 20, 2012 Only those who earn between $200,000 and $1 million would see their federal tax burden shrink under the GOP's 'Plan B' proposal, according to analysis from the nonpartisan Tax Policy Center. While extending Bush-era tax cuts on income up to $1 million is the centerpiece of House Speaker John Boehner's ...