The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Congress

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.

Mixed News on Defense

The summer appropriations process for the Department of Defense (DOD), beginning with the initial authorizing bills, has thus far brought a mixed bag of news.

Senators Seek Elimination of Wasteful and Overlapping Benefit Payments

On June 6, NBC News and The Wall Street Journal released a poll that showed Americans blame welfare programs more than any other reason for persistent poverty in the United States.   The poll was conducted between May 30 and June 2 and sampled 1,000 adults.

The Farmers Love This Bill

“The farmers love this bill,

The farmers love this bill,

High, HIGH, the dairies go,

The farmers love this bill!”

While it’s a tortured version of the original, the verse scribbled above represents a more fitting rendition of the classic nursery rhyme these days, given ongoing congressional action.  Today, the Senate will markup its version (S. 10) of this year’s farm bill, the Agriculture Reform, Food and Jobs Act of 2013.  The House of Representatives is expected to follow suit tomorrow.

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