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Policy Archive

Congress Will Allow Government Retirement System to Stay in the Cave Age

There’s a nickname for news reports so provocative that readers are compelled to give them a literal shout out. They’re called “Hey, Martha!” stories — as in, “Hey, Martha! Come read over my shoulder: You’re not going to believe this!”

Exchange Enrollment Hits 6 Million, Obama Announces

President Barack Obama held a conference call Thursday with thousands of supporters who are working to get people enrolled under the health care law so he could personally deliver the news that more than 6 million Americans have signed up through the federal and state exchanges.

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House Budget Priority: Energizing Election-Year Base

Some lawmakers and experts dispute the notion that a new budget resolution laden with conservative policies would be a drag on GOP electoral prospects, arguing it may help Republicans energize their base amid the typical low turnout of midterm elections.

Campaigns, Take Note: Braley's, Brown's and McConnell's Unforced Errors Offer Lessons Aplenty

Running gets a lot tougher when you’ve injured yourself. Three topflight Senate candidates are about to find out whether their aspirations have been slowed a bit by a political stubbed toe — or hobbled indefinitely because they’ve shot themselves in the foot.

Department of Labor Will Examine Pay Threshold, Management Exemption for Overtime

It will likely be months before the Obama administration details the specific changes it plans for overtime rules, but officials are looking at making two significant shifts.

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History Shows Overtime Pay Protections Are Disconnected From Employer Hiring

The Obama administration’s initiative to expand overtime pay protections may present tough choices for businesses, but several economic studies suggest companies won’t respond with new hiring.

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Electoral Waiting Game May Tempt GOP Appropriators

Poised to make gains in the November elections, Senate Republicans may have little incentive to cooperate on spending bills once they reach the floor. That’s because they may get a better deal in the lame duck, which could raise the likelihood for a continuing resolution to start fiscal 2015.

Hill's Bipartisan Deadlock on Phone Records May Be Easing

Eight months ago, in one of its most important and fascinatingly nonpartisan votes of recent memory, the House came up just seven members short of eviscerating the government’s vast effort to keep tabs on American phone habits.

IRS: Bitcoin is Property, Not Currency

Virtual currencies such as bitcoin will be taxed as property rather than currency, the Internal Revenue Service said Tuesday in long-awaited guidance on online tender.

Logistics of Afghan Drawdown Prove Challenging

The United States military is making steady progress in the removal of people and equipment from landlocked Afghanistan, according to military officials who say the delay in a final decision about the U.S. presence after 2014 should not prevent a full-scale withdrawal, if that becomes necessary.

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Delay in Afghan Pact Roils War Plan, Defense Budget

The bilateral security agreement between the United States and Afghanistan has still not been signed, sealed and delivered, creating budget uncertainty and potentially significant logistical problems, according to military and congressional leaders.

Democrats' Anti-Koch Attacks Have a Familiar Ring

There is an oddly familiar ring to Democrats’ escalating attacks on the conservative billionaire Koch brothers.

Steeped in Overhead: A Look at the Expenses of Tea Party Groups

Updated, 5:20 p.m. | Republican leaders are stepping up their campaign to discredit tea party activists who are challenging them on Capitol Hill and on the campaign trail, accusing conservatives of lining their own pockets at the expense of the GOP.

Critics of GM Bailout Wonder Whether Government Ownership Hindered Response

Critics of the Obama administration’s bailout of the domestic auto industry are questioning whether regulators may have ignored safety defects in General Motors Co. vehicles while the carmaker was under taxpayer ownership.

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In Wake of GM Recall, Lawmakers Are Set to Scrutinize Regulators, as Well as Automakers

The recall of about 1.7 million General Motors Co. vehicles for ignition switch defects linked to 13 deaths has renewed congressional scrutiny of the federal agency charged with regulating highway safety.

Doctors Win, Jobless Lose: The GOP Confronts New Perception Problem

The week is still young, so there’s time left for the Republicans to change course. But for now, the party is moving assertively toward generating one of the most tin-eared headlines of this campaign year:

Rural America Needs 340B Drug Discount Program | Commentary

Rural hospitals are the front line of care for millions of Americans who can’t travel to big cities for medical treatment. Most are small, less than 25 beds, and many struggle to keep their doors open in the face of rising costs. A little-known prescription drug program called 340B helps these providers stay in business — and extend vital services to needy patients.

Oberweis’ Illinois Senate Bid Testing Theory That Persistence Pays Off

They don’t call him the Milk Dud for nothing, but right now, he is on a little roll.

Nebraska Sets the Standard for New Farmers

Nebraska’s success in recruiting new farmers and ranchers could point the way for other states and Congress to reverse the decline in the number of new producers.

Asking Congress to Support Meaningful Patent Reform Legislation | Commentary

This month, transit agencies around the country are in D.C. for the American Public Transportation Association legislative conference. An issue that surfaced in many of our meetings is “patent trolls” — shell companies that purchase patents with no intention of innovating or inventing, but rather, suing those who do — and how they are crippling transit agencies with meritless threats.

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