The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Congress

Obamacare: Defund or Delay?

Before the 113th Congress left town in early August for their five-week “summer recess,” they kicked yet another can down the road.  On the one hand, it wasn’t time-sensitive enough that action couldn’t wait until their return on September 9.  On the other, because of the hoopla surrounding it before their departure, they left themselves open to potential criticism when facing their constituents back home over the break.

Lame Brain Drain

I am not suggesting that the Congressional staffers who may be seeking greener career pastures (due to changes in health care benefits) are “lame brains;” however, if they are responsible for most of the madness that emanates from Capitol Hill, I may have to reassess.  Rather, the much-ballyhooed, “sky-is-falling” brouhaha over the potential for intellectual flight from the Senate and House office buildings is itself a bit lame.

The Article 1 President

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

As the U.S. Constitution clearly states, it is the Legislative Branch that writes law.  The role of the Executive Branch and the president is to enforce the laws.  But disturbingly, the Obama Administration has changed another provision in Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The Fix is In...

The deal has been made; Congress and President Obama figured out a way to provide continued subsidies for healthcare premiums for congressional staff.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) just released the proposed regulation, which can be found here.

Gridlock is Good

Last week, the NBC News and the WSJ released a poll on Congress’s and President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Wall Street Journal states, “Rising frustration over partisan gridlock in Washington has damaged faith both in President Barack Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with disapproval of Congress hitting an all-time high.”  According the results, some 56% of the adults polled believe that Congress has been too inflexible in dealing with the president.  But in the same poll, some 48% of the pa

Farm Bill, Part 2: Divide (the Bill) and Conquer (the Conservatives?)

Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has proposed a strategy to move the chamber’s recently failed 2013 Farm Bill forward to passage by the House and on to conference with the Senate’s already passed version.  Stung by the unprecedented defeat of a recurring piece of legislation once considered “must pass” by previous Congresses, Chairman Lucas is apparently threatening the old adage of “be careful what you ask for, you may get it.”

Bottom Feeders Take a Bite Out of the Farm Bill

On June 10, 2013 the Senate passed its version of the Farm Bill, which included provisions to operate catfish inspections by the Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS).

Halting Wireless Tax Increases

The June 2013 early release report on wireless substitution by the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) indicates that the percentage of adults and children living in households with wireless only telephone service has been on a steady increase since 2003.  The data in the report indicates that wireless-only population is now about 36.5 percent and overall household adoption of wireless is now set at 89 percent of the population in the U.S. as of the end of 2012.

"Campaign to Cut Waste" Falls Short

On June 13, 2011, President Obama issued Executive Order No.

Reform on Sugar Policy Isn’t Getting Sweeter

The Senate overwhelmingly approved its version of the Farm Bill on June 10, 2012 with a vote of 66-27.  There is plenty to say about what is in the $955 billion legislation—with more than $760 billion for going to food stamps and  nutrition programs, and billions more going to various other programs, it seems that a discussion about what is present in the bill could last for days.

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