May 12, 2011

Politicizing Procurement

When President Obama took office, he promised to lead a new era of government accountability. In fact, his administration was to be marked by an “unprecedented level of openness and transparency.” Yet recent signals from the White House raise serious questions about the president’s interest in transparency as a tool for responsible government and the potential that transparency will instead become a weapon of partisan political activity. Weeks ago, the administration circulated a ...

  • Open Government
May 3, 2011

The Presidential Records Act & Protecting America’s Right to Know

Since the passage of the Presidential Records Act 33 years ago, electronic media and information technology have proliferated across the federal government. Yet Congress has not undertaken a legislative effort to update the law and meet the demands of the digital information age. Three different presidents have issued executive orders to supplement the Presidential Records Act, but each has addressed issues relating to presidential privilege or the restriction of access to presidential ...

  • Open Government
Apr 20, 2011

The Gulf is Still Waiting for More Drilling Permits

On the first anniversary of the Deepwater Horizon oil spill, the administration’s de facto moratorium, or “permitorium,” on offshore drilling has resulted in higher prices for gas and heating fuel in addition to costing thousands of Americans jobs and making the country more dependent on foreign oil. Indeed, it appears that the administration has found in the Gulf disaster the justification for its political bias against domestic oil and gas ...

  • Regulation & Jobs
Apr 20, 2011

Why are Spending Cuts So Hard?

Why was it so hard to get a budget passed that kept the federal government open for the remainder of this year? Why did it take the imminent threat of a complete government shutdown to broker a deal that cut $38.5 billion from the 2011 budget? The American people have a right to know the answers to these questions. To be sure, a government shutdown of the magnitude nearly realized would have been disastrous. For weeks, the entire country was consumed with the possibility that basic government ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Mar 30, 2011

Giving Students a Chance at Success

The House is due to vote Wednesday on reinstating the Opportunity Scholarship Program for the District of Columbia. This is a critical education reform that can offer low-income students and their parents the chance to break out of low-performing public schools and receive a quality education. The reauthorized program would give an annual voucher of $8,000 for elementary students and $12,000 for secondary students within 185 percent of the poverty line. It could make it possible for thousands ...

  • Education
Mar 9, 2011

SEC Chair Fails to Disclose a Conflict in the Madoff Matter

Mary Schapiro, current chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission,did not create all the problems at the SEC. Like many commissioners before her, she inherited most of them. From a technologically backward process for reviewing corporate filings and an inability to detect fraud to an unwieldy management structure and a unionized, lawyer-heavy work force, the SEC has developed a reputation as an outdated bureaucracy unable to track its own finances and lacking in basic accountability ...

  • Financial Services
Feb 28, 2011

Harry Reid and Obama Plot Government Shutdown

If Congress can pass the two-week measure now proposed by House Speaker John Boehner, the federal government will not shut down when current funding runs out on March 4. The time will allow bicameral negotiations for a longer-term funding resolution to proceed, but not if Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, Nevada Democrat, continues to block the kind of deep spending cuts that the American people voted for last November. Responding to the American voters - 65 percent of whom think spending ...

  • Wasteful Spending
Feb 3, 2011

How do Government Regulations Affect Your Business? We’re Listening

In his State of the Union Address, President Obama highlighted the importance of making America a better place to do business saying, "to help our companies compete, we also have to knock down barriers that stand in the way of their success. To reduce barriers to growth and investment, I've ordered a review of government regulations. When we find rules that put an unnecessary burden on businesses, we will fix them ..." As President Obama has signaled the importance of examining the regulatory ...

  • Regulation & Jobs
Jan 25, 2011

Do the Right Thing, Right Now, on D.C. Opportunity Scholarships

House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, introduced a bill this week to reauthorize the D.C. Opportunity Scholarship Program, a successful education reform that has provided scholarships up to $7,500 annually for more than 3,300 disadvantaged children living in the District of Columbia. We fully support the program's reauthorization, which President Obama and the Democrat majority opposed in the last Congress. Indeed, this is the time to do the right thing for thousands of underserved ...

  • Education
Jan 14, 2011

A Federal Carrot and Stick to Ease the Public Pension Crisis

The growing crisis of public-sector employee pension liabilities is a complex web of legal loopholes, questionable funding formulas and benefit levels that threaten to bankrupt state and local governments across the country. Many states are already at an endangered level, and it is now estimated that more than half of the state pension plans will run out of funds entirely within the next 20 years. California has the highest unfunded pension liability in the country at nearly $60 billion. How ...

  • Wasteful Spending