The Balanced Budget Amendment That Isn’t About Balancing the Budget

In a move hearkening back to the Clinton era, Senate Republicans introduced a balanced budget amendment to the Constitution earlier today. All 47 members of the caucus are cosponsoring the bill, a strong show of force. But here’s the thing: this balanced budget amendment isn’t about balancing the budget.

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White House Makes Boneheaded Move in not Proactively Disclosing Transparency Meeting

Two days ago, I posted a message about my meeting with President Obama to acknowledge his commitment to transparency and to give him an award for that commitment. During that meeting, the president reaffirmed his belief in transparency and demonstrated a nuanced understanding of the issues involved. I left the meeting assured I had an advocate for transparency running the government, even as we talked about ways of strengthening transparency. Yesterday, I learned that the meeting was not listed on his public calendar. There is no good excuse for this.

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EPA Again Refuses to Prevent Massive Fish Kills

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) this week proposed standards for facilities that use natural waters to cool equipment, but the proposal does not require technology that would prevent millions of fish from being sucked in with the water.

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A Face-to-Face with the President about Transparency

Yesterday, I had a once-in-a-career opportunity – to discuss transparency in the Oval Office with the President of the United States.

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Labor Department Takes Comments on Regulatory Review

The Department of Labor announced March 16 that it will accept public comments on its plan to review existing regulations and their impact. Labor, like all agencies, is conducting the review in accordance with an executive order President Obama signed Jan. 18.

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Our Six-Point Plan for Spending Transparency

As I wrote about yesterday in this post, last Friday the House Oversight Committee held a great hearing focusing on spending transparency. We submitted written testimony for the hearing, which you can read here. In it, we talk about the six changes Congress and the Obama administration should make to USAspending.gov, the government's spending website which is based off of one of our websites, FedSpending.org.

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FY '11 Savings Lost to Continuing Budget Fight

Although congressional combatants believe they are fighting a worthy budget battle, the collateral damage of not coming to agreement is accumulating. Robert Pear at the New York Times and Andy Sullivan at Reuters have reported two noteworthy pieces suggesting that when Congress finally gets its FY 2011 act together, the savings from whatever budget cuts result will significantly eroded by the waste that their dithering has caused.

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No News is Big News at the FEC

The news out of yesterday's Federal Election Commission (FEC) meeting is that there is, yet again, no news to report.  The FEC has delayed a final vote on an advisory opinion which was jointly requested by the Democratic Senatorial Campaign Committee, the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, the Republican National Committee, the National Republican Senatorial Committee, and the National Republican Congressional Committee. If this stalemate continues, it will be merely the latest in an unprecedented string of partisan deadlocks.

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Senators Use Small Biz Bill to Blitz Public Protections

Senate Republicans are pelting a noncontroversial small business aid bill with a variety of awful amendments that have nothing to do with small business. The amendments leave no stone unturned, attacking environmental and consumer protections, health care, and a wide range of government programs that impact Americans’ everyday lives.

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