WASHINGTON -- President Obama’s proposed mix of tax hikes and spending cuts would reduce future budget deficits more quickly than under current laws, according to a report issued Friday that could rekindle the dormant budget wars in Washington.
The outlook from the nonpartisan Congressional Budget Office comes as the government is set to reach its debt limit on Saturday, forcing the White House and Congress back to the negotiating table to work out a long-term budget plan that raises taxes, cuts spending -- or some combination of the two.
WASHINGTON — President Obama said Friday he wanted to put more Americans back to work by slashing the amount of time it takes to grant federal approval for big job-creating projects.
But Obama’s choice of venue for his remarks of a manufacturing company that makes mining and pumping equipment provided fodder for Republicans. They pointed out that its president had just the day before testified on Capitol Hill in support of the controversial Keystone XL pipeline, which the Obama administration has delayed for years.
Ellicott Dredges President Peter Bowe says the pipeline, designed to transport crude from oil sands deposits in Alberta, Canada, to the refineries on the U.S. Gulf Coast, would pour money into his business.
“For us, it’s all about jobs,” Bowe told members of the House Committee on Small Business on Thursday. The project will generate jobs “every year for decades to come, all related to the production of oil from the Alberta oil sands...
Across-the-board cuts in the federal budget will force the Department of Housing and Urban Development to close its offices on May 24 and possibly six other days.
HUD, which provides assistance programs for low-income and homeless people, said Friday that it had tentatively scheduled additional furloughs of employees for June 14, July 5, July 22, Aug. 2, Aug. 16 and Aug. 30.
The agency has been reducing expenses in response to the so-called sequester, Congress’ mandate for budget cuts at a host of agencies including Homeland Security, the Internal Revenue Service and the Environmental Protection Agency.
HUD officials said it’s possible that cuts in other areas would enable HUD to keep the offices open on some of the days planned for closures.
WASHINGTON – The acting head of the IRS insisted Friday that he and other agency officials did not mislead Congress by failing to disclose that applications by conservative groups for tax-exempt status were mishandled, and he said to call it "targeting" incorrectly implied political motivations.
Members of the House Ways and Means Committee grilled Steven Miller, who has resigned as acting commissioner but is still on the job until Wednesday, why he made no mention of the problems in letters and testimony to Congress, despite being aware of the issue.
"How can we conclude that you did not mislead this committee?" asked a visibly agitated Rep. Paul D. Ryan (R-Wis.)
WASHINGTON – The ousted head of the Internal Revenue Service apologized Friday morning for the agency's "foolish mistakes" in its handling of conservative groups applying for tax-exempt status and attributed the IRS' actions to a misguided pursuit of efficiency instead of partisan targeting.
Steven Miller, the IRS acting commissioner, appeared before the House Ways and Means Committee, the first congressional showdown on the issue since revelations the agency inappropriately singled out tea party and other conservative groups for additional scrutiny.
Also testifying was J. Russell George, the Treasury inspector general for tax administration, whose findings were released this week, days after an IRS official first acknowledged that conservative groups applying for nonprofit status had faced additional and intrusive reviews.
WASHINGTON -- The ousted top official of the Internal Revenue Service will appear before a House committee Friday morning, his first public appearance since controversy erupted last week over how the agency mishandled applications for tax-exempt status for conservative advocacy groups.
Steven T. Miller, who resigned as acting commissioner Wednesday, is to testify at a hearing of the House Ways and Means Committee beginning at 9 a.m. Also on the witness list is J. Russell George, the treasury inspector general for tax administration who released a report this week detailing how employees in a Cincinnati field office inappropriately flagged conservative groups applying for nonprofit status and subjected them to extensive questioning and lengthy processing delays.
The report pointed to lax management and confusion over laws regulating the political activity of such groups. Miller, in an op-ed published this week in USA Today before his resignation, said that the mistakes “were in...
"It's been a difficult, arduous process and we haven't fallen apart yet," said Rep. Mario Diaz-Balart (R-Fla.), a member of the group. "And now we have an agreement in principle, and I think that says it all."
The House bill is expected to be more conservative than the bipartisan Senate measure, but it will include a similar political trade-off of border security measures alongside a path to citizenship for the estimated 11 million people who have entered the country illegally or...
WASHINGTON – House Republicans voted for the 37th time Thursday evening to repeal all or part of President Obama’s healthcare law, underscoring once again the deep partisan divide over the landmark 2010 legislation.
The bill to roll back the entire Affordable Care Act passed 229 to 195, with just two Democrats crossing the aisle to join the GOP. No Republicans voted against the legislation, which is assured of going nowhere in the Senate.
“Republicans will continue to work to scrap the law in its entirety so we can focus on patient-centered reforms that lower cost and protect jobs, because jobs is what this is all about,” House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) told reporters Thursday.
Democrats, who highlighted the lack of a GOP alternatives for expanding health coverage to millions of uninsured Americans, ridiculed the repeal legislation.
WASHINGTON – Continuing to move quickly to try to put the IRS controversy behind him, President Obama named a new acting commissioner Thursday to replace the one he ousted the day before.
Daniel Werfel, current controller of the Office of Management and Budget, will replace Steven Miller, who has been the acting commissioner since November 2012. Miller came under fire for his role in the scandal over the Internal Revenue Service’s targeting of conservative advocacy groups.
“The American people deserve to have the utmost confidence and trust in their government, and as we work to get to the bottom of what happened and restore confidence in the IRS, Danny has the experience and management ability necessary to lead the agency at this important time,” Obama said in a statement.
WASHINGTON – President Obama on Thursday called on Congress to beef up security at U.S. diplomatic facilities, saying the country owes it to the four Americans who died at the Benghazi, Libya, mission last year to protect other personnel serving around the world.
Speaking to reporters in the White House Rose Garden, Obama said he has ordered a review of security at high-threat posts, as well as improvements in training for those headed to dangerous jobs.
But Obama said he can’t “do this alone” and argued that Congress should fully fund his budget request to improve embassy security.
“That’s how we learn the lessons of Benghazi,” Obama said. “That’s how we keep faith with the men and women who we send overseas to represent America and that’s what I will stay focused on as commander in chief.”
The security proposals are part of Obama’s attempt to answer lingering questions about...
WASHINGTON – Two of President Obama’s second-term Cabinet nominees inched forward Thursday, while another was poised to win final confirmation by the Senate.
Thomas E. Perez, Obama’s choice to lead the Labor Department, and EPA nominee Gina McCarthy won party-line votes of Senate committees Thursday morning, after Republicans had employed various procedural tactics to delay progress in confirming their appointments.
It is unclear at this point how soon, if at all, the full Senate would move to confirmation votes for either nominee. A Senate leadership aide said no vote is likely until after the weeklong Memorial Day recess.
Perez’s nomination, in particular, has emerged as a focal point of Republicans.
Sen. Lamar Alexander (R-Tenn.), ranking Republican on the Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, said Perez used his current position at the Justice Department as assistant attorney general for civil rights to...