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8:10 pm, July 30, 2014

Senate News

Congress passes student loans, highway jobs bill

The bill sent for President Barack Obama's signature enables just over $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs over the next two years, projects that would have expired Saturday without congressional action.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 08:26pm EDT

Senate approves Obama choice to lead NRC

Geologist Allison Macfarlane will replace Gregory Jaczko, who announced his resignation last month after a tumultuous three-year tenure.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 04:53pm EDT

Mass-transit subsidy not in highway bill, but not dead yet

A tax break for mass-transit riders is not part of the transportation reauthorization bill Congress passed Friday.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 03:35pm EDT

Senate committee makes quick work of real property, Hatch Act bills

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved six bills that would affect the day-to-day workings of the federal government.

Thursday - 06/28/2012, 06:27am EDT

House committees demand transparency, 'insight' into sequestration

Congress is demanding more answers about how $1.2 trillion in budget cuts set to take effect in January will be applied across the government. The House Budget Committee Wednesday unanimously approved a bill directing the Obama administration to provide Congress a report that provides specific details about how the spending cuts will affect federal agencies and programs. Meanwhile, the House Armed Services Committee formally requested that the head of the Office of Management and Budget, Jeff Zients, testify before the committee on the "mechanics and impact" of the automatic cuts.

Wednesday - 06/27/2012, 09:40pm EDT

Lawmakers reach tentative deal on highway bill

Congressional leaders have tentatively agreed on a two-year bill to overhaul federal highway programs that drops a requirement that the government approve the Keystone XL oil pipeline.

Wednesday - 06/27/2012, 03:21pm EDT

Cyber bill tracker

The pressing need for cybersecurity legislation has led to widely divergent paths in the House and Senate. The House has opted for a more incremental approach, while the Senate has crafted comprehensive legislation

Wednesday - 06/27/2012, 02:47pm EDT

Tracking the 2013 Budget

Congress has made quick work, so far, of the 12 annual bills setting agency spending for fiscal 2013. Over the past few months, the House Appropriations Committee has approved 10 of the bills, and the full House has OK'd five of them. The full Senate has approved no appropriations bill so far this year, however the committee has reported out eight bills.

Tuesday - 06/26/2012, 02:52pm EDT

Bill would make companies report data breaches sooner

Five Republican senators have introduced a bill that would require companies that store your personal information to report any security breaches to you as quickly as possible.

Monday - 06/25/2012, 09:26am EDT

Senators frustrated by FAA nominee's lack of specifics about delayed safety provisions

Acting administrator Michael Huerta had few answers for members of the Commerce, Science and Transportation Committee concerning the FAA's lack of progress on pilot training and safety regulations. Huerta said the final directive is expected to be out by October 2013. He also said the NextGen system is making progress and establishing important baselines.

Monday - 06/25/2012, 05:48am EDT
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McCain opens door to revenue increases to avoid sequestration

The top Republican on the Armed Services committee signaled Thursday that there's room for compromise toward a deal to avoid automatic budget cuts at the end of this year. But not everyone's sure the negative effects of sequestration can be avoided, or even that Congress would reach a deal.

Friday - 06/22/2012, 05:13am EDT
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Agency officials tout progress on security clearances

Agency officials from the Defense Department and the Office of Personnel Management, along with a handful of other agencies, cited significant improvements in both timeliness and accuracy in the security-clearance program at a Senate subcommittee. The agencies agreed, however, much work remained to maintain that progress and to take on new challenges, such as reciprocity and reinvestigation.

Thursday - 06/21/2012, 07:51pm EDT
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House committee remains mum on federal pay raises

The Financial Services and General Government spending bill seeks to cut $2 billion from the president's request. The bill says nothing about granting feds a pay raise in 2013. The House committee follows the lead of Senate appropriators, which also remained silent on the issue.

Thursday - 06/21/2012, 05:43am EDT
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Senate defeats bid to block EPA power plant rule

The Democrat-controlled Senate defeated a bid Wednesday to block the Environmental Protection Agency from setting the first federal standards to reduce toxic air pollution from power plants.

Wednesday - 06/20/2012, 01:20pm EDT

US plans significant military presence in Kuwait

The United States is planning a significant military presence of 13,500 troops in Kuwait to give it the flexibility to respond to sudden conflicts in the region as Iraq adjusts to the withdrawal of American combat forces and the world nervously eyes Iran, according to a congressional report.

Tuesday - 06/19/2012, 11:46am EDT

Wartime contracting reform bill reintroduced

Senators Claire McCaskill and Jim Webb gain bipartisan support on legislation designed to decrease wasteful spending. Some provisions in the bill regarding accountability have been strengthened.

Monday - 06/18/2012, 06:07pm EDT

Lieberman proposes special counsel for leaks probe

Sen. Joe Lieberman says there should be a special counsel to look into allegations that the administration has leaked information on a U.S.- Israeli cyber-warfare campaign against Iran's nuclear program and other classified activities.

Sunday - 06/17/2012, 05:15pm EDT

DHS demos cyber attack to help sway lawmakers to pass a cyber bill

The Homeland Security Department showed lawmakers and staff how easy it is to create a spear phishing attack against a federal employee using free, open-source tools. The agency also said the Einstein 3 program is under development and will rely on vendors to provide intrusion prevention services. Sen. Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) said he expects the cyber bill to go to the Senate floor for debate no later than July.

Thursday - 06/14/2012, 10:23am EDT
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Panetta orders review of mental diagnoses

Defense Secretary Leon Panetta said Wednesday he has ordered all branches of the military to conduct an extensive review of mental health diagnoses amid criticism of how the services treat the men and women suffering the invisible wounds of the long wars in Iraq and Afghanistan.

Wednesday - 06/13/2012, 06:44pm EDT

Lieberman, Collins warn against slashing acquisition workforce

The two influential senators say the mistakes the Defense Department and others made in the 1990s during the last serious budget reductions can't be repeated this time around. Sen. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) said budget cuts shouldn't be balanced on the backs of the acquisition workforce. Sen. Susan Collins (R-Maine) added reductions in acquisition staff mean the government will pay more for goods and services.

Wednesday - 06/13/2012, 05:24am EDT
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