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The perils of bypassing Congress

January 29, 2013 If a president's first term is about reelection, his second is about history. And as President Obama made clear in his inaugural address last week, he is hoping to make history by tackling climate change. But as he butts up against Congress on gun control, immigration reform and a slew...

Behind the scenes of the 57th inauguration

December 12, 2012 A record-setting two million people watched President Barack Obama's first inauguration, but the day was not without its glitches: thousands more were trapped in tunnels or delayed by extensive security lines, ticketed but unable to reach the ceremony in time for the event. Though most expect smaller crowds for the...

Coburn adds snow-cone machines, armored-vehicle pumpkin festival protection to his hit list

December 5, 2012 Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has a few more spending cuts to put on the fiscal-cliff negotiating table. His solution? Start with the hundreds of thousands going to underwater-robot development in Ohio or armored-vehicle protection for a pumpkin festival in New Hampshire. Coburn, who is known for his annual "Wastebook" report...

Capitol poses serious obstacles for people with disabilities

October 18, 2012 Forget navigating the hallways or figuring out which elevator to use. For a visitor to the U.S. Capitol with limited mobility, just approaching a House office building is a barrier-riddled nightmare. From too-steep curb ramps to uneven grades, the sidewalks of the Capitol complex alone present a host of barriers...

The book of government waste: from robo-squirrels to caviar

October 16, 2012 Congress has taken a "let them eat caviar" attitude toward the American people, according to Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla. As part of an annual "Wastebook" he released Monday, the Oklahoma Republican identified 100 government-backed projects, including a $300,000 effort to promote caviar consumption, that he says highlight the spend-happy nature...

Senate Republicans block vote on vet jobs bill

September 19, 2012 Senate Republicans effectively killed a measure to find jobs for unemployed veterans on a procedural vote Wednesday, after several attempts by Democrats to keep the bill on the table failed. Sen. Jeff Sessions, R-Ala., raised a point of order against the bill on Wednesday, citing alleged violations of Senate budget...

Electric car chargers coming to Congress

August 21, 2012 Capitol Hill infrastructure is known more for its oddities -- like the inaccessible fifth floor of the Cannon building -- than for its modernity. The latest approved development, however, may actually be ahead of demand. Both the House and Senate approved plans to install public charging stations for electric vehicles...

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