House Appropriations Committee

15 Stories

After Benghazi, 55% of Posts Still Weak on Security

158 posts may not be up to snuff: state dept. official

(Newser) - Could another Benghazi loom? A State Department official has testified that some 158 diplomatic posts "have facilities that may not fully meet current security standards." That's out of 283 total, undersecretary Pat Kennedy said yesterday. Many "were built or acquired prior to the establishment of the... More »

Obey's Retirement More Bad News for Dems

When the House Appropriations chief bails, it can't be good

(Newser) - The decision by powerful congressman David Obey to retire rather than seek re-election—the 71-year-old says he's "bone tired," reports AP —has pundits predicting more bad news for Democrats:
  • Ed Morrissey, Hot Air : This "may be the biggest sign of Democratic despair in this midterm cycle,
... More »

Democrat Obey to Retire

House Appropriations chief faced tough re-election

(Newser) - Democratic sources say House Appropriations Committee Chairman David Obey will not seek re-election, reports AP . The Wisconsin Democrat, first elected to his seat in 1969, easily won his 20th full term in 2008 with 61% of the vote, but he faced a potentially difficult re-election bid this fall. Obey's decision... More »

John Murtha Dead at 77

Powerful Democratic congressman from Pennsylvania was early opponent of Iraq War

(Newser) - Rep. John Murtha of Pennsylvania, a retired Marine Corps officer who became an outspoken critic of the Iraq war, has died after suffering complications from gallbladder surgery. The powerful Democrat, a close ally of speaker Nancy Pelosi, was 77. In 1974, Murtha became the first combat veteran of the Vietnam... More »

Afghan War May Sock Us With Surtax

House Dems propose 1% war tax

(Newser) - Any change in Afghan strategy that involves spending more money needs to come with a strategy to pay for it, warn House Democrats. Influential committee chairs are calling for a 1% surtax on incomes under $150,000 beginning in 2011 to pay for the war. Their proposed bill would impose... More »

Lobbyist Cozy With Lawmaker Wins Jackpot

Visclosky funnels $44M in earmarks to clients not even in his state

(Newser) - If you’ve got a tech company looking for a handout from the Defense Appropriations Subcommittee, might we recommend calling Rep. Peter Visclosky? Or more accurately, call K&L Gates, a lobbying firm that boasts in its marketing documents, “a very good relationship” with Visclosky, the third-ranking member of... More »

Congress Relents, Slashes Unwanted Jet Order

(Newser) - House leaders are slashing their $550 million order for eight new executive jets for use by senior government officials, caving to pressure from fellow lawmakers and the Pentagon, Politico reports. John Murtha’s Defense Appropriations Subcommittee had more than doubled the Pentagon’s original request for $220 million to buy... More »

House Bill Loaded With $6.5B the Pentagon Doesn't Want

(Newser) - They gave up on the F22, but Congress is still trying to give the Pentagon $6.9 billion in planes, helicopters and ships the Defense secretary doesn’t want, the Washington Post reports. House Democrats have loaded the defense spending bill with earmarks for programs Barack Obama and Robert Gates... More »

Dems Get in Shouting and (Alleged) Shoving Match

'He touched me first,' says Waters

(Newser) - A pair of House Democrats had a less-than-decorous exchange on the floor yesterday, the Hill reports. With the chamber clearing out after a series of votes, Appropriations chair David Obey and Maxine Waters began screaming at each other over an earmark for a school bearing Waters' name. “You’re... More »

Dems Deny Obama Funds to Close Gitmo

House Democrats say president needs to come up with a plan first

(Newser) - President Obama's request for $80 million to close Guantanamo Bay was cut from the House version of a war spending bill unveiled yesterday, CNN reports. Democratic lawmakers, whose bill totaled $94.2 billion, said if the president wants money to close Guantanamo Bay then he'll first have to come up... More »

Dems Relent on Spending Bill

Leaders bow to White House pressure on domestic funding

(Newser) - House Democratic leaders surrendered to pressure from the White House on a wide-ranging domestic spending bill yesterday, dropping demands for $22 billion in additional funding, the Washington Post reports. That still may not be enough for Republicans, who are talking about a possible veto because the bill—$936.5 billion... More »

Bush Domestic Spending Veto Stands

House falls two votes short for key health, education bill

(Newser) - President Bush's veto of a major domestic spending bill yesterday withstood a challenge by the House after it failed by just two votes to muster a two-thirds majority to override it. The $606 billion labor, health and education measure is the largest of 12 spending bills that have pit Congress... More »

Alaskan Tribes Score No-Bid Bonanza

Sen. Ted Stevens under scrutiny for shady contracts

(Newser) - Alaskan tribes are so successful in securing no-bid government contracts, they're spurring a federal investigation into conduct by Alaskan senator Ted Stevens, reports Salon. In 1986, Stevens pushed through a law that gave Alaskan companies "small business" preferences—even if they belong to a multi-billion dollar parent corporation and... More »

Dem Congress Still Dishing Out Pork

The new majority is not as kosher as they claim to be

(Newser) - Democrats in Congress pledged to cut the pork out of appropriations bills, but the new majority is already cheating on the diet, reports the  Washington Post. Using a technique called "phonemarking," congressmen are contacting federal agencies directly and asking them to fund their pet projects, all while boasting... More »

Doolittle Steps Down After FBI Raid

Yields Appropriations seat under Abramoff probe pressure

(Newser) - Republican John Doolittle has ceded his coveted seat on the House Appropriations Committee—a week after FBI agents made a surprise raid on his Virginia home. Doolittle and his wife, Julie, a consultant, are under investigation for their ties to besmirched fundraiser Jack Abramoff. More »

15 Stories