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Executive Branch Archive

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Dine Acknowledges Partial Lockdown Spurred by Navy Yard Created Confusion

In the wake of the Washington Navy Yard shooting, the Capitol’s top law enforcement officials went in different directions on security — resulting in an uneven response to a potential campus threat that Capitol Police Chief Kim C. Dine hopes is never repeated.

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.

Congress Must Hold Expert Agencies Accountable | Commentary

For the second time in as many Congresses, the House of Representatives passed the Regulatory Accountability Act, the first-ever major overhaul of the Administrative Procedure Act. The Senate, however, has yet to give the bill so much as a hearing.

The President's Strained Argument for Privilege | Commentary

The long-standing dispute between Congress and the White House over the botched Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives gun-running program called “Fast and Furious” has entered a new stage. Currently the matter is before the D.C. District Court where the House of Representatives and Department of Justice are at loggerheads over President Barack Obama’s executive privilege claim to conceal various documents from Congress.

Consider the Potential for Abuse | Commentary

In 1792, when charged with enforcing an unpopular tax on whiskey in the face of rebellion, President George Washington noted in a letter to Alexander Hamilton, “It is my duty to see the Laws executed: to permit them to be trampled upon with impunity would be repugnant to” that duty.

Boehner, GOP Dismiss Obama Budget, While Murray Sees Potential Compromises

The instant-reaction kabuki of party leaders to the president’s budget announcement has a certain predictable nature, and this year was no different.

Obama's $3.9 Trillion Budget Takes More Realistic Approach

President Barack Obama’s budget for fiscal 2015 is perhaps his most realistic to date. Grand bargains are out. Grand new proposals are out, too.

Moving Forward on E-Waste Management | Commentary

Three years ago, a dozen leading consumer electronics companies collaborated to create the “Billion Pound Challenge.” The goal: recycle one billion pounds of electronic devices annually, enough to fill an entire NFL stadium. As of last April, the industry was more than halfway to its original goal, with 585 million pounds responsibly recycled — up from 300 million pounds in 2010. But now a patchwork of state rules mandating recycling is inadvertently complicating this effort to reach our billion-pound stretch goal.

Trade with Asia Will Help Revitalize the Beleaguered U.S. Economy | Commentary

While the United States economy continues to falter, some in Congress are standing in the way of a key trade vote that has the potential to benefit our stagnant economy.

Time for the Senate to Act on Patent Reform and Protect Jobs | Commentary

In announcing recent actions by the White House to combat patent trolls and strengthen America’s patent system, Gene Sperling, director of the National Economic Council and assistant to the president for economic policy, succinctly observed, “It’s no small deal that the president of the United States chose to make a call for patent reform legislation in his State of the Union address.”

The Economic Case for Permitting Crude Oil Exports | Commentary

Since the gasoline shortages of the 1970s, Congress has, with only a few exceptions, barred all U.S. crude oil exports. But an energy policy that may have made sense 40 years ago no longer does. Innovative drilling techniques have spawned an oil and natural gas boom in the United States. Since oil surpluses can create as many problems as oil shortages, it’s time to eliminate those export restrictions.

Federal Lending Fuels Growth in Solar Power

Solar energy represented less than 1 percent of the domestic electricity generation mix in 2012 but has experienced dramatic growth in the interim with help from both the federal government and the private sector.

Realizing the Digital Future Means Letting Go of the Past | Commentary

Apparently some members of Congress think about more than re-election.

Congress Needs to Think Twice Before Banning Internet Gaming | Commentary

Congress should tread extremely carefully before it even thinks about banning lawful activity on the Internet.

Budget Cuts to Congress Are Real, Not 'Gimmicks' | Commentary

With little fanfare and much sacrifice, a small entity within the federal government has made significant cuts to its own budget. The cuts have required an already underpaid and overtaxed workforce to develop creative solutions to continue to deliver high-quality services to key stakeholders with even fewer resources. The mainstream media has largely ignored this unprecedented budgetary reduction, and the federal entity’s leaders have foregone even a modicum of self-congratulation for the effort, while the employees have been nearly universally silent on the impact. This workforce is the U.S. Congress.

America's True Inequalities Lie Within Obama's Worldview | Commentary

President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address offered a grab bag of specifically vague ideas and predictable plaudits but the common thread woven through his remarks was that of inequality. Between his arguments surrounding entry level wages, real income and his plan to unilaterally raise the minimum wage in federal contracts without the involvement of Congress, the undercurrent of income inequality ebbed and flowed throughout his speech.

U.S. Postal Service Responds | Letter to the Editor

Mary Berner, CEO of the Association of Magazine Media, recently asserted in Roll Call (“Don’t Give the USPS a Blank Check to Exploit Its Monopoly Powers: Return This Bill to Sender,” Jan. 29) that legislation pending in the Senate would provide the Postal Service with “unchecked, unprecedented power to charge Americans whatever it wants for its services.” Leaving aside the hyperbole, the underlying sentiment is simply untrue. Indeed, from even the most modest understanding of our public policy challenges, the idea that the Postal Service would emerge “unchecked” from any legislative outcome is laughable.

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Keystone Pipeline Approval Could Shift Dynamics of Crude Export Debate

The debate over lifting the nation’s restrictions on exporting crude oil centers on refinery capacity and the types of available crude, complexities that could shift if the Keystone XL pipeline is approved.

Polls Show No Impact From State of the Union Address

Tens of millions of Americans watched President Barack Obama’s State of the Union address, but the speech had no appreciable impact on his depressed poll numbers.

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