The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

The WasteWatcher

The WasteWatcher is the staff blog of Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) and the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW). For questions, contact blog@cagw.org.




Who is Elizabeth MacDonough and Why is She Important?

Elizabeth MacDonough’s job doesn’t generally bring her into the limelight. While MacDonough has served as the Senate parliamentarian for five years and has worked in the office of the parliamentarian for eighteen, the public knows little of her important role with the upcoming debate on the senate bill to repeal and replace the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA) or Obamacare.

This is Not What I Meant by Revamp

In April 2017, CAGW published an article I wrote regarding FedRAMP, and efforts to modernize and streamline the process.  Part the effort was the proposed implementation of a FedRAMP Tailored process for low-impact systems.

Time to Kill the Death Panel

With Congress poised to repeal and replace Obamacare, the time has come to abolish the Independent Payment Advisory Board (IPAB), a little-known but dangerous provision within the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act (ACA).  Congress needs to repeal IPAB, and if it were not for the arcane rules surrounding the budget reconciliation process being used to repeal Obamacare, it certainly would have been included in either of the repeal-and-replace bills being debated.

Obamacare Repeal and Replace: It's the Senate's Turn

Tomorrow, on June 22, Senators are supposed to receive a discussion draft of the Senate version of the American Health Care Act (AHCA), an Obamacare repeal and replacement bill.  Currently, the goal is to vote on the legislation next week, just before the July 4 recess.  The House passed its version, H.R. 1628, on May 4, 2017, by a vote of 217 to 213.  Everyone in Washington is anxiously waiting to see and review the draft bill.

Au Revoir, Paris Accord

On June 1, 2017 President Donald Trump withdrew from the Paris Climate Treaty, often called the Paris Agreement or Accord.  Based on the caterwauling and wringing of hands by environmentalists, the media, state and local officials, and foreign leaders, you would have thought that floods would be ensuing within days due to the polar ice caps melting overnight and the end of the world was nigh.

GAO Duplication Report Should Guide Trump

Early in his presidency, Donald Trump has demonstrated through words and deeds a commitment to reforming and reorganizing the federal bureaucracy, including the elimination of waste, fraud, abuse and mismanagement.  A report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) will make that job a little easier.

Debt Ceiling: A Good Vehicle for Budget Process Reform

On March 7, 2017, the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) announced that if the debt ceiling was not raised or extended before March 16, the U.S. Treasury would be unable to borrow funds for standard operating procedures.  Since then, the Treasury has been forced to use accounting maneuvers known as “extraordinary measures” to keep the government running, but these work-arounds will only delay the inevitable debate that Congress must have.  Eventually, Congress will have to decide how to address the debt ceiling, or the federal government will default on its payments and risk an economic crisis.

Congressional Appropriators: Rating the “Third Party”

A practical reality of life on Capitol Hill can be summed up with a saying often attributed to Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.).  In his book, Worth the Fighting for, Sen. McCain writes that, “there are, it is often observed, three parties in Congress, Republicans, Democrats, and appropriators.”  Further explained by Barry Popik, a contributor to the Oxford English Dictionary (among others), the saying “means that ‘pork barrel’ spending is nonpartisan.”

The Jetsons and the Internet of Things

“The Jetsons” was only on television for one season, 55 years ago, but it produced a lasting impression about an interconnected future.  The show didn’t use the term “Internet of Things,” but much of what took place fits into today’s technology. 

Tech CEOs Step Up for Taxpayers

Today's meeting of the White House Office of American Innovation is being attended by 18 private sector technology experts, including the CEOs of some of the most innovative and successful companies in U.S. history. Their expertise is welcome and necessary.

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