Archive for November 2012

Federal agencies and the fiscal cliff

November 29, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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A conservative congressman from Oklahoma broke ranks with the Republican Party on Wednesday. Rep. Tom Cole says a tax increase for the top two percent is better than an increase for everyone.

On Thursday, Treasury Secretary Tim Geithner held a series of meetings with congressional leaders.

Those were some of the latest developments as lawmakers work to avoid the fiscal cliff.

Francis Rose, host of "In Depth with Francis Rose" on Federal News Radio, discussed how the budget battle could impact federal agencies. Here's his interview with Capital Insider.

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Business model for newspapers still in flux

November 29, 2012 - 02:30 PM
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The Washington Post is losing print subscribers at a significant rate. Revenue is down and management has changed. The paper replaced Marcus Brauchli with former Boston Globe editor Martin Baron. His goal: turn things around.

Jennifer Nycz Conner, with the Washington Business Journal, discussed the changing nature of U.S. newspapers and other topics on Capital Insider.

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For federal workers, time to choose a health plan

November 28, 2012 - 03:23 PM
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Walt Francis, principal author of the "2013 Consumers' Checkbook's Guide to Health Plans for Federal Employees" offered tips on open enrollment.

Here's his interview on Capital Insider.

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Obama, Congress at an impasse on fiscal cliff

November 28, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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In January, Bush-era tax cuts expire and across-the-board spending cuts kick in. The clock is ticking and Congress appears no closer to compromise.

Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) drove that point home during a speech on the Senate floor on Tuesday.

""I read this morning that the president plans to hit the road next week to drum up support for his own personal approach to the short- and long-term fiscal challenges we face.

"In other words, rather than sitting down with lawmakers of both parties and working out an agreement, he is back on the campaign trail -- presumably with the same old talking points that we are all quite familiar with," McConnell said.

Steve Ellis, vice president of Taxpayers for Common Sense, discussed the impasse on Capital Insider.

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U.S. cyber firms on the tip of the spear

November 27, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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In the Middle East and elsewhere, there is growing demand for cyber experts. The goal: prevent attacks on critical industries and infrastructure.

Ellen Nakashima, national security correspondent for The Washington Post, discussed a dilemma for U.S. contractors. Here's her interview on Capital Insider.

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Parties urge compromise, hold fast to tax positions

November 27, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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The Senate's top Republican denounced the way President Obama is building support for his position on avoiding the fiscal cliff. Sen. Mitch McConnell (R-KY) said -- instead of sitting down with lawmakers -- Obama is "back on the campaign trail."

Roll Call's Jonathan Strong discussed fiscal cliff negotiations on Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

November 26, 2012 - 05:15 PM
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Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler and Republican Strategist Cherylyn Harley Lebon discuss the GOP's plan for immigration, identify key players on the fiscal cliff, and react to a new poll about Gov. Chris Christie (R-NJ).

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The trickle-down effect of a housing recovery

November 23, 2012 - 09:45 PM
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The housing sector released more positive numbers this week. Mortgage rates on 30-year loans dipped to 3.31 percent (the lowest average since 1971), and builders broke ground on 894,000 homes in October. That's up 4-percent from last month.

Ingrid Beckles discussed the data on Capital Insider.

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First 100 days are critical for Obama's new cabinet

November 23, 2012 - 09:30 PM
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In two months, the Joint Congressional Committee will hold their 57th presidential inauguration. It's set for January 21, 2013. A new term means new cabinet members -- even if a president wins re-election.

Tom Fox, with the Partnership for Public Service, discussed cabinet turnover with Capital Insider.

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Bernanke prods Congress, Obama on budget deal

November 21, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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Federal Reserve Chairman Ben Bernanke spoke to the Economic Club of New York on Tuesday, and urged Congress and President Obama to strike a deal on the fiscal cliff. He says uncertainty stifles economic growth, spending, and investment.

David Williams, president of the Taxpayers Protection Alliance, discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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GAO: Staffing study needed at State Department

November 21, 2012 - 03:30 PM
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According to the Government Accountability Office, the U.S. maintains about 270 diplomatic posts in 180 countries, and staffs them with 80,000 employees. Those missions face new security challenges -- including a staffing shortage.

Michael Courts, acting director for international affairs and trade issues at the GAO, discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Progress report on FDA staffing

November 21, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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In 2007, the Food and Drug Administration's Science Board issued "a troubling report" about staffing challenges at the agency.

Kathleen Stratton, director of the 'Innovate FDA Project' at Pew Charitable Trusts, offered a progress report on Capital Insider.

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Israel, Hamas open to diplomatic solution

November 20, 2012 - 07:30 PM
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Secretary of State Hillary Clinton says the U.S. is pushing for a "durable outcome" following Israel's offensive in the Gaza strip. She spoke alongside Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu on Tuesday, after rushing to the region to help forge a cease fire.

J.J. Green, national security correspondent for WTOP Radio, discussed the conflict on Capital Insider.

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USPS keeps losing money, Congress weighs action

November 20, 2012 - 07:30 PM
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Last week, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe reported a $15.9 billion dollar loss in 2012 and forecast more red ink in 2013. That sobering statistic capped a rough year for the postal service. They defaulted on billions in payments to avoid a bankruptcy filing.

Joe Davidson, 'Federal Diary' columnist for The Washington Post, discussed the relationship between USPS and Congress on Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

November 19, 2012 - 03:30 PM
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On Friday, Gen. David Petraeus told lawmakers that the CIA's draft talking points about Benghazi referred to the September 11th assault on the U.S. Consulate as a "terrorist attack."

Petraeus said that reference -- "terrorist" -- was removed from the final version and replaced with "extremist." He told lawmakers he does not know which agency removed it.

A few days later, U.S. Ambassador to the United Nations Susan Rice discussed the attack on television. She said a spontaneous protest appeared to have sparked it.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed the Benghazi timeline and other top political topics on Capital Insider.

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VA's 'Veteran Crisis Hotline'

November 19, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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This is the latest report in our series focused on the men and women in uniform, and military veterans.

'The American Veteran' was created by the Department of Veterans Affairs. It's goal: to inform active duty service members, veterans, and their families about VA benefits and services available to them.

Here's VA Spokeswoman Betty Moseley Brown on Capital Insider.

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Women pick up Congressional seats, clout in 2012

November 16, 2012 - 03:30 PM
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Gender played a huge role in the 2012 election. Women voted for Democrats by an 11-point margin. This week, the GOP responded by appointing Rep. Cathy McMorris (R-WA) to a leadership position.

Niels Lesniewski, staff writer for CQ Roll Call, discussed the growing clout of women in Congress on Capital Insider.

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CIA to investigate Petraeus affair

November 16, 2012 - 03:00 PM
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The CIA has opened an exploratory probe into the conduct of former chief David Petraeus. The four-star general resigned last week after admitting to an extramarital affair.

Col. Douglas Macgregor (U.S. Army, retired) discussed the latest developments on Capital Insider.

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Petraeus scandal continues to evolve

November 15, 2012 - 04:30 PM
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Former CIA Director David Petraeus will testify to the House Intelligence Committee on Friday -- in a hearing that will be closed to the public.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (U.S. Army, retired) discussed the developing story on Capital Insider.

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Dividend-paying stocks get chilly reception to Obama's second term

November 15, 2012 - 04:00 PM
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The fear of higher taxes put a chill on dividend-paying stocks this week. Some analysts call the trend an over-reaction to the fiscal cliff.

Danielle Douglas, financial reporter for The Washington Post, discussed that and other top headlines on Capital Insider.

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