government spending

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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 Does Its Job, Dodges Shutdown in Last-Minute Deal

There's money for Zika, Flint

(Newser) - Acutely partisan and all but dysfunctional, Congress has completed its most elementary task after an intense weekslong struggle, finalizing a deal to fund the government just days ahead of a shutdown deadline, the AP reports. The legislation extends existing spending levels a mere 10 weeks, past Election Day, while finally... 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 »

Senate OKs Deal to End Budget Fights

2-year deal is on its way to Obama's desk

(Newser) - Early on Friday, Congress sent President Obama an ambitious budget and debt measure that averts a catastrophic national default and sets spending priorities for the next two years. The Senate voted 64-35 to approve the bill just after 3am EDT, with Democrats and Republican defense hawks uniting to overcome opposition... More »

House GOP Leaders Reach 2-Year Budget Deal

Boehner's last deal will make it a lot easier for Ryan

(Newser) - House GOP leaders struck a budget deal made with the White House just before midnight Monday aimed at averting a government shutdown and forestalling a debt crisis. Speaker John Boehner is making one final appeal to restive Republicans: Pass the hard-won agreement with President Obama before Rep. Paul Ryan assumes... 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 »

Obama Signs $1.1T Spending Bill

Bipartisan deal funds government for 9 months

(Newser) - With little fanfare to mark a rare bipartisan achievement, President Obama has signed a massive $1.1 trillion spending bill that keeps the government operating over the next nine months. The legislation was a compromise that angered liberals and conservatives alike but avoided a government shutdown and put off partisan... More »

$1.1T Spending Bill Squeaks Through House

Obama helps round up Democratic votes

(Newser) - Swapping crisis for compromise, the House narrowly approved $1.1 trillion in government-wide spending last night after President Obama and Republicans joined forces to override Democratic complaints that the bill would also ease bank regulations imposed after the economy's near-collapse in 2008. The 219-206 vote cleared the way for... 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 OKs Bill to Keep Government Running

But those White House tours are still a no-go

(Newser) - The Senate approved legislation today to lock in $85 billion in broad federal spending cuts and simultaneously avoid a government shutdown next week. If the House goes along, as expected, that means the across-the-board cuts set in motion by a failed earlier deficit-cutting effort and vigorously decried by President Obama... 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 »

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