Archive for June 2012

Affordable Care Act upheld

June 29, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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President Obama said Thursday's decision by the Supreme Court to uphold his health care reform law was "a victory for people all over this country."

Conservative Chief Justice John Roberts sided with the court's liberals and wrote that it's not the court's job to make policy decisions.

GOP opposition was plentiful. Republican presidential candidate Mitt Romney promised to work to repeal the law if elected in November.

Rosemary Gibson, author of the book "Battle Over Health Care: What Obama's reform means for America's future," offered analysis of the historic ruling on Capital Insider.

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Yemen becomes key to fight against Al-Qaeda

June 29, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Yemen continues to be a central focus in the fight against the Al-Qaeda network. Just this week, land mines planted by Al-Qaeda militants killed more than 70 civilians. Yemen has aggressively pursued suspected terrorists with U.S. support.

J.J. Green, national security correspondent for WTOP radio, discussed that and other issues with Capital Insider.

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Defense contractors warn of layoffs, streamline ahead of budget cuts

June 28, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Military contractors remain in limbo as Congress grapples with budget cuts and the possibility of sequestration. Some contractors, like Lockheed Martin and SAIC, threatened mass layoffs this month.

Any way you look at it, top defense contractors will be fighting for less government revenue in the years to come.

Jill Aitoro, federal contracting reporter for the Washington Business Journal, discussed those issues with Capital Insider.

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"Show me your papers" provision to face legal challenge

June 28, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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This week, the Supreme Court ruled on Arizona's immigration law. They upheld one provision requiring police to check the immigration status of people they stop for other reasons.

In the next few days, opponents will ask a judge to put that provision on hold so they can challenge it in court. Opponents to the law argue it cannot be enforced without racial profiling.

Jon Feere, legal policy analyst for the Center for Immigration Studies, discussed the issue with Capital Insider.

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Supreme Court continues to set tone on campaign trail

June 27, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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The Supreme Court continues to set the tone on the campaign trail. Both President Obama and Mitt Romney stumped for (Obama) and against (Romney) Monday's immigration ruling. They also positioned themselves ahead of Thursday's expected health care decision.

Politico Reporter Emily Schultheis cut through the rhetoric with Capital Insider.

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"Green Scissors Initiative" pushes cuts to subsidies, nuclear energy

June 27, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Experts call it the fiscal cliff: Bush-era tax cuts expire this December, automatic sequestration follows, as U.S. Debt climbs to another all-time record.

Meanwhile, Congressional leaders remain locked in election-year fights as tough decisions pile up.

How can they cut spending and do so responsibly? Taxpayers for Common Sense President Ryan Alexander thinks she has the answer. She discussed the "Green Scissors Initiative" with Capital Insider.

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The military and mortgage regulation

June 26, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau started cracking down on mortgage companies this month. Authorities say some lenders took advantage of members of the U.S. Military.

Ylan Mui, financial reporter for the Washington Post, discussed the issue with Capital Insider.

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House GOP takes eye off the ball

June 26, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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The White House and congressional Republicans continue to duke it out over a number of politically caustic issues. Chief among them -- the "Fast and Furious" investigation.

Rep. Darrell Issa (R-CA) wants the Justice Department to hand over more documents about the failed ATF gun-running operation.

President Obama gave Attorney General Eric Holder executive privilege last week, but the full House might vote to hold Holder in contempt.

CQ Roll Call's Daniel Newhauser discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

June 25, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Democratic strategist Erikka Knuti and Republican strategist Mercedes Schlapp discussed "Fast and Furious, student loan interest rates, Mitt Romney's stance on immigration, and other trending topics on Capital Insider.

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Turkish plane shot down by Syrian forces

June 25, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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On Friday, a Turkish military jet was shot down by Syrian forces over the Mediterranean Sea. According to Turkish media reports, Syria apologized and both countries were searching for the F-4 jet.

Col. Douglas Macgregor (U.S. Army, retired) discussed the possible military and diplomatic implications with Capital Insider.

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Housing market recovery still choppy

June 22, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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On Thursday, the National Association of Realtors said Americans are buying fewer homes -- another sign that the modest recovery of the housing market could be choppy. Sales of previously occupied homes dropped 1.5 percent in May.

Ingrid Beckles, formerly of the default asset management division at Freddie Mac, discussed that and other trending housing industry topics on Capital Insider.

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Fed hopes Pathways Program will improve recruitment

June 22, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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According to the non-partisan Economic Policy Institute, the job prospects for recent college graduates are grim. For those younger than 25, unemployment averages 9.4 percent. An additional 19 percent hold jobs they're overqualified for.

The federal government wants to tap in to that young talent. For the first time in decades, they launched a new initiative designed to improve the way they recruit and hire college graduates.

The Federal Coach Tom Fox discussed the "Pathways Program" with Capital Insider.

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The National Popular Vote Bill and the 2012 campaign

June 21, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Last month, an ABC News-Washington Post poll suggested the 2012 presidential contest will be extremely close. If the November election were held today, 49 percent of voters would cast a ballot for President Obama and 46 percent for Republican Candidate Mitt Romney. That's within the margin of error.

Over the next five months, both candidates will spend a lot of time, money, and political capital in a handful of swing states to secure enough electoral votes on election day. That does not sit well with everyone.

Laura Brod, formerly of the Minnesota House of Representatives, discussed the National Popular Vote movement on Capital Insider.

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Improved tax information could help families pay for college

June 21, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Several Title IV programs use your tax dollars to help Americans at a variety of income levels. Some of those programs help families pay for college.

According to the Government Accountability Office, nearly 13 million students received Title IV financial aid in 2009, and 18 million people filing taxes claimed some form of college-related expenses.

Jim White, director of tax issues at the GAO, talked about a new study on the topic with Capital Insider.

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Russia pushes Iran during nuclear talks

June 20, 2012 - 12:30 PM
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Russia launched a desperate bid to save nuclear talks between six world powers and Iran on Tuesday. The goal: decrease the chance for a Middle East conflict.

Iran says it wants to pursue a peaceful uranium enrichment program, and wants an end to U.S.-led sanctions crippling their oil industry. The six world powers say they want Iran to curb uranium enrichment before those sanctions can even be discussed.

Diplomats worry that if these talks fail, the U.S. will get dragged into an Israeli-led attack as chaos spreads through the Middle East.

Lt. Col. Anthony Shaffer (U.S. Army Reserve) discussed the seven-nation talks on Capital Insider.

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The countdown to July first

June 19, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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Congress will grapple with several contentious issues this week including student loan interest rates and the $109 billion, two-year highway funding bill.

Gridlock has been common in Congress this summer as Republicans and Democrats position themselves for the November elections.

Washington Post Congressional Reporter Rosalind Helderman discussed the negotiations with Capital Insider.

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"Likeonomics" and the 2012 elections

June 19, 2012 - 01:00 PM
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Most polls agree, President Obama is a likeable guy. But is he likeable enough to win re-election? This month, CNN released a poll that shows Republican Presidential Candidate Mitt Romney's favorable rating jumped 14 points since February -- from 34 percent to 48 percent. Obama remains more popular. Fifty-six percent of Americans gave him a favorable rating.

Marketing Strategist Rohit Bhargava, author of "Likeonomics: The unexpected truth behind earning trust, influencing behavior, and inspiring action," discussed the presidential contest with Capital Insider.

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Sammies Finalist Danette Campbell

June 18, 2012 - 03:50 PM
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The Partnership for Public Service, a locally-based non-profit organization, announced 33 finalists last month for the Service to America Medals.

The "Sammies" honor federal workers who have shown a commitment to public service and who have made the agency they work for stronger.

Danette Campbell, senior telework advisor with the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office, is a finalist for the 2012 Management Excellence Medal. She discussed her work with Capital Insider.

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That was the week that was

June 18, 2012 - 03:45 PM
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President Obama announced a major change in immigration policy on Friday. The move would allow hundreds of thousands of young illegal immigrants to stay in the U.S. without risk of deportation.

Republican Strategist Jack Burkman and Democratic Strategist Richard Fowler discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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Crumpton on leaks, drones, and his professional future

June 13, 2012 - 01:30 PM
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On Tuesday, Attorney General Eric Holder fended off Republican demands that he appoint a special counsel -- outside the Justice Department -- to look into possible national security leaks.

Republican senators Lindsey Graham and Chuck Grassley expressed concern because U.S. Attorneys Ron Machen and Rod Rosenstein hold political appointments. For his part, Holder praised them as highly experienced and respected.

The controversy continues as the Justice Department searches for the source of possible leaks about U.S. cyberattacks on Iran, and an Al-Qaeda plot to place explosive devices on a U.S.-bound flight.

Ambassador Henry Crumpton, formerly of the CIA's clandestine service, discussed that and other issues on Capital Insider.

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