government spending

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Here's What Americans Paid for Trump Kids' Security on Ski Trip

Nearly $330K

(Newser) - $329,561. That's how much it cost taxpayers to provide security for Ivanka Trump, Jared Kushner, Eric Trump, and their families when they took a ski trip to Aspen last March, reports CBS News , which got the records through a Freedom of Information Act request. The Department of Homeland... More »

HHS Head Too Busy to Fly Commercial, Says Rep

Democrats are calling for an investigation

(Newser) - Government officials "check every possible source for travel needs, including commercial, but commercial travel is not always feasible" for Tom Price, who has "an incredibly demanding schedule." That's how a spokesperson defended the Health and Human Services secretary Wednesday after a Politico report claimed Price used... More »

Trump's HHS Head May Have a Private Jet Problem: Politico

Tom Price's 5 recent flights on official business cost an estimated $60K

(Newser) - Between Sept. 13 and Sept. 15, Health and Human Services Secretary Tom Price took five private jet flights for official business, which cost tens of thousands of dollars more than commercial flights would have—a "sharp departure" from the practices of his predecessors, per Politico , and also an odd... More »

Steve Ballmer's Secret $10M Site on Gov't Spending Debuts

Ex-Microsoft CEO has been compiling monster database for 3 years

(Newser) - Ask Steve Ballmer about the project he's been quietly working on since he retired as CEO of Microsoft , and he starts gushing with the "excitement of a child showing off a new toy," per the New York Times . That three-year project is USAFacts.org , a "first... More »

Congress Reaches Deal to Avoid 2016 Shutdown

Package includes sweeteners for both sides

(Newser) - Congressional leaders have reached a deal that will let them go home for the holidays and avoid spending most of 2016 squabbling about government shutdowns. House Speaker Paul Ryan told GOP lawmakers on Tuesday night that a $1.1 trillion omnibus funding bill that will keep the government running until... More »

Congress Playing With Fire on Infrastructure Spending

Atlantic writer: We need a long-term fix, not 60-day stopgaps

(Newser) - One thing both parties agree on is that the way we fund projects to repair roads, rails, and bridges is a joke, writes Russell Berman at the Atlantic . Witness the House vote earlier this week to keep the Highway Trust Fund alive—for only another two months. Without the fund,... More »

NASA Wasted $349M on 'Ghost Tower'

Unused project to cost $700K per year to keep up

(Newser) - Four years ago, NASA knew it wouldn't likely use a giant tower originally intended to test rockets—because the testing program was canceled. Yet the agency kept building the A-3 test stand and finally finished the $349 million project in June. And the costs keep coming, with the Mississippi... More »

NSA Can Spy on All Countries—Save 4

Snowden documents contain authorization certificate

(Newser) - The National Security Agency has the authority to spy on pretty much any country, with the exception the other four members of the "Five Eyes": Britain, Canada, Australia, and New Zealand. The agency is also free to keep an eye on the European Union, the World Bank, the International... More »

No Shutdown: Congress Rolls Out $1.1T Spending Bill

Bipartisan measure expected to pass easily

(Newser) - After weeks of late nights, House and Senate negotiators believe they have hammered out a bipartisan spending bill that will ensure a year free from government shutdown drama. "There will be no shutdown," says Senate Appropriations Committee chair Barbara Mikulski. "This is a strong bipartisan bill, and... More »

Shutdown Actually Costing Us More

'New York Times' editorial points out the hidden costs of not running government

(Newser) - You might assume that the government shutdown is at least saving money and shrinking the deficit. But you'd be wrong. "The shutdown will actually be very expensive and will wind up costing the taxpayers and the economy far more than the regular operations of government," the New ... More »

Security to Be Intense(ly Expensive) on Obama's Africa Trip

Trip could cost between $60 million and $100 million

(Newser) - Barack Obama is set to take his first extended tour of sub-Saharan Africa this month—and it ain't gonna be cheap. Obama's security for the trip could cost as much as $100 million, according to planning documents obtained by the Washington Post . What's all that money going... More »

White House: Here's Where Your Taxes Are Going

Website offers spending specifics

(Newser) - As you file your 1040, the White House wants you to know just how those dollars are being spent—so, for the third year in a row, it's offering a website to calculate just that. At the 2012 Federal Taxpayer Receipt , you enter your Social Security, Medicare, and income... More »

O'Reilly Goes to Bat for Obama, Hits Bachmann

Fox host criticizes her 'small ball' attacks on president

(Newser) - With Michele Bachmann attacking President Obama for his "lifestyle of excess," the White House found a surprising defender yesterday—Bill O'Reilly. The Fox News host called out Bachmann for "small ball" attacks that are more than a little factually challenged and that "trivialize" much more... More »

Senate Dems Blow Off Obama's Budget Wish List

Leadership struggling to pass spending bill

(Newser) - As they rush to pass a continuing resolution to fund the government, one might imagine that Senate Democrats would heed President Obama's requests for funds for health care or Wall Street reform, but that's not exactly the case. Republicans didn't include those things in the House budget,... More »

TSA Draws Rage for $50M Uniform Deal, Knives Policy

Agency accused of being tone-deaf, making flight attendants 'sitting ducks'

(Newser) - Just a week before the sequester kicked in, the TSA signed a deal to spend $50 million on new uniforms, reports Politico . The agency calls the uniforms a necessity, but for many on Capitol Hill it was just another sign of the TSA's cluelessness. "When we’re losing... More »

White House, GOP Upbeat on Avoiding Shutdown

Boehner cites agreement with Obama

(Newser) - The next big budget debate—over money to keep the government open—shouldn't be as fraught as the last one, leaders say. "The president agreed that we should not have any talk of a government shutdown," John Boehner told NBC in an interview broadcast yesterday. "So... More »

Why We Need to 'Kick That Can'

Paul Krugman: US debt problems are long-term; fixing now would be 'destructive'

(Newser) - Paul Krugman appears exasperated with John Boehner's exasperation. On Wednesday, the speaker of the House discussed his determination to tackle the deficit, saying, “I’ve watched them kick this can down the road for 22 years since I’ve been here. I’ve had enough of it. It’... More »

Majority of House GOP Totally Cool With Defaulting

Even more are OK with government shutdown: sources

(Newser) - More than half of House Republicans are OK with a government default if President Obama won't accept their budget-cut demands, party officials tell Politico . Even more GOP lawmakers are willing to allow a government shutdown come March 27. Taking the shutdown route would help ensure "President Obama understands... More »

The Nitty-Gritty of Tax Deal

For many households, tax bill going up $1.6K

(Newser) - We narrowly avoided plunging over the fiscal cliff, but don't pop any champagne bottles yet. Though analysts generally agree that what we got is better than no deal, the plan we got is full of holes. Here's a rundown of what the deal does and does not do:... More »

Horseless Detroit Department Employs ... Horseshoer

Job description last revised in 1967

(Newser) - Detroit's Water and Sewerage Department doesn't have any horses—but if it ever gets any, it's totally prepared. The city employs a "horseshoer," whose job it is "to shoe horses and to do general blacksmith work ... and to perform related work as required,"... More »

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