Congress's Latest Assault on the EPA

On July 9, Rep. Sam Graves (R-MO) introduced H.R. 5034, the Stop the EPA Act of 2014. Incorporating the worst aspects of previous attempts to undermine the ability of federal agencies to address needed public protections, this bill would require a joint resolution of congressional approval for any standard developed by the U.S.

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Is the Federal Government Failing to Save $67 Billion? Congress Should Look in the Mirror

Many members of Congress have taken to social media this week pushing a stat that says the federal government is failing to implement some 17,000 recommendations from inspectors general that could - in total - save an estimated $67 billion a year. The stat is based on a report issued by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee last March.

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Q & A With Thomas Hungerford: Why a Corporate Tax Holiday Is a Bad Way to Fund Infrastructure

Legislation that would fund infrastructure projects through a controversial way of generating revenue is being considered in Congress and has picked up a substantial amount of bipartisan support. While expanding investments in infrastructure is popular with many as a way to meet pressing national needs and create jobs, why is the legislation so controversial?

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EPA Sustains Major Cuts to Developing and Enforcing Safeguards in FY 14 Appropriations

Despite an attempt by some to portray the $299 million increase in EPA's overall fiscal year 2014 budget as a positive compromise, those in Congress who oppose developing and enforcing public health and environmental safeguards have much to celebrate. Of particular concern, the budget includes major cuts to EPA's operations that develop and enforce public health and environmental protections.

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Key Transparency Fund Survives in Spending Bill

The House and Senate appropriations committees today released a new spending bill which contained good news for a key fund for government transparency programs. The Electronic Government Fund (E-Gov Fund) will receive a slight boost in funding from recent years, while still falling short of the administration’s funding request.

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Planning Ahead to Keep Government Information Online

During the October 2013 federal government shutdown, several important public information sources were shuttered, which weakened government transparency during that time. But – short of averting the shutdown itself – could anything have been done differently?

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Why “The Sky Hasn’t Fallen Yet” is a Bad Standard for Judging Policy Choices

There are many who are downplaying concerns about the October 17 deadline for approving a routine measure that allows the U.S. to manage its finances and pay the bills it already owes. Without approving an increase in the debt ceiling, it will be difficult for the U.S. federal government to pay its bills on time – likely leading to default. Because of the central role these regular payments play in the U.S. and global financial system, many experts say a default on U.S.

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Congressional Research Service Details Latest Shutdown Developments at the Defense Department

On Oct. 7, the Congressional Research Service updated its report on how a lapse in appropriations – in other words, a government shutdown – is affecting the Department of Defense (DoD). The Center for Effective Government obtained the report and is making it publicly available.

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Government Shutdown: Facing Furloughs and Disrupted Pay, 1 in 4 Federal Civilians Is a Veteran

While there has been substantial media coverage of how a prolonged shutdown would affect disability and pension payments to veterans, what has been lost in most of the coverage is that large numbers of veterans are being affected now. As more than 800,000 federal employees face furloughs, it is rarely mentioned that a quarter of the federal workforce is made up of veterans, many of them disabled.

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The Government is Now Closed…in More Ways Than One

The ludicrous and wasteful government shutdown can now claim another victim: government transparency. Several functions dedicated to providing information to the American public have been declared “non-essential” and are suspended during the lapse in appropriations. You might say that open government is now closed for business.

Here are some of the ways in which the shutdown is making it harder to know what government is doing (or at least, was doing before the shutdown):

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