As part of a broader effort to conduct oversight over FOIA to help improve government transparency, on January 25, 2011, Oversight and Government Reform Committee Chairman Darrell Issa sent a letter to 180 entities representing 100 government agencies requesting information about their FOIA tracking systems. The ability and willingness of agencies to submit this information (or lack thereof) served as the basis of an objective evaluation by committee staff of agency FOIA management.
Freedom and choice are the cornerstones of what our system of government was built on. They also represent the core principles that helped create unionization in America. Over time, the role of unions has evolved from being a protector of workers against being forced to work long hours in difficult conditions to a being a powerful agent in the political process.
The delayed public notification of serious safety concerns relating to the Chevy Volt raises significant concerns regarding the unnatural relationship between General Motors (GM), Chrysler and the Obama Administration. Rather than allowing GM and Chrysler to enter into a traditional bankruptcy process, the Obama Administration intervened and forced the companies to participate in a politically orchestrated process. The result was that GM and Chrysler emerged as quasi-private entities, partially owned by the United States government.
Congress never intended that commercial nuclear power be regulated by a single individual. On the contrary, Congress designed the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) as an independent agency with a five person, bipartisan panel of Commissioners at its helm. The American people need to have confidence that the actions of the NRC are not in support of just one individual’s agenda but, rather, singularly in support of the agency’s mission. That mission is to enable the nation to safely use radioactive materials for beneficial civilian purposes while protecting people and the environment. The leadership of Chairman Gregory Jaczko has undermined Commissioners, staff, and the public confidence that the NRC can continue to remain focused on its vital mission
As the Obama Administration openly and forcefully criticized private enterprises for accepting taxpayer assistance while paying executives bonuses, its defense of the bonuses now being paid to executives at Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac – who now report to the Obama Administration – creates the clear appearance of a double standard. Although the Administration’s rhetoric on executive compensation for companies who owe money to taxpayers has been tough in the past, the Administration appears to be in no hurry to change the existing dynamic of executives receiving millions in compensation while taxpayers continue to lose billions on the bad decisions of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac.
Since its inception, TSA has lost its focus on transportation security. Instead, it has grown into an enormous, inflexible and distracted bureaucracy, more concerned with human resource management and consolidating power, and acting reactively instead of proactively.
Sulaimon Brown, an auditor, was the first declared candidate to challenge District of Columbia Mayor Adrian M. Fenty in the 2010 Democratic primary. Brown raised minimal sums, campaigned by mostly attacking Fenty, and ultimately urged voters to cast ballots for then-Council Chairman Vincent C. Gray. Brown came in dead-last in the primary, even behind the write-in candidates. Less than a month after Mayor Gray took office in January 2011, Brown was hired as an Excepted Service special assistant in the city’s Department of Health Care Finance (HCF), receiving an annual salary of $110,000.
President Obama’s health care law, the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (PPACA), creates refundable tax credits to assist certain individuals in purchasing health insurance. Individuals in households below 400 percent of the federal poverty level (FPL) qualify for a tax credit unless they are eligible for Medicare or Medicaid or someone in the household has an offer of “affordable” coverage at work. The PPACA also expands Medicaid by requiring that states enroll all applicants who live in households below 133 percent of the FPL. The Congressional Budget Office (CBO) projects that the tax credits and the Medicaid expansion will increase the nation’s debt burden, excluding interest costs, by $1.36 trillion from 2015-2021, the first seven years that these PPACA provisions are fully implemented.
Facing the worst economic recession since the Great Depression, President Obama confronted the crisis by promoting “green jobs” as a major component of his recovery strategy. He promised that these programs would create five million jobs within ten years. He cited the efforts of other nations as the rationale to try and subsidize our way to energy independence. Yet, the other nations who tried this experiment have struggled and after nearly three years and billions of spent taxpayer dollars later, the American people have received very little return on President Obama’s signature investment.
In the wake of stagnant job creation, an unacceptably high unemployment rate and growing concern that our country is marching towards another recession, the House Committee on Oversight and Government is continuing its examination of regulations that are acting as impediments to job creation. Late last year, the Committee began the most expansive look in more than a decade at the impact that regulations were having on businesses – large and small – the result was input from more than 1,300 businesses and their representatives across the country.