Transparency Hearing Highlights Spending Data Issues

Even though Sunshine Week is officially this week, the House of Representatives got the ball rolling last Friday. The House Oversight and Government Reform Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform (say that ten times fast) held a hearing called "Transparency Through Technology: Evaluating Federal Open-Government Initiatives," although the hearing focused more on spending transparency than anything else. While one would expect that an oversight hearing in the House “evaluating” the Obama administration’s transparency efforts would be contentious, the most surprising aspect of the hearing was that it wasn’t.

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On Public Wages, Let's Hear from Business Leaders

A unionized public employee, a teabagger, and a CEO are sitting at a table. In the middle of the table is a plate with a dozen cookies on it. The CEO reaches across and takes 11 cookies, then looks at the teabagger and says, 'Watch out for that union guy – he wants a piece of your cookie!'

An interesting exchange occurred last week between a top government official and a group of corporate leaders attending the first meeting of President Obama's Management Advisory Board. According to Robert Brodsky of Government Executive, Director of the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) John Berry appealed to the board to help set the record straight about "overpaid" public employees.

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Why Are We Only Talking about Spending Cuts?

All the GOP cares about is jobs, jobs, jobs!

With Congress poised to send President Obama another continuing resolution (CR) temporarily keeping the federal government open, Senate Democrats, in conjunction with the administration, have just three weeks to negotiate with House Republicans over a funding bill for the rest of fiscal year (FY) 2011. The negotiations will concentrate on spending cuts made by the Republican House, but they shouldn't.

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House CR Would Cut Nuclear Safety Funding

H.R. 1, the continuing resolution (CR) passed by the House in February that would cut some $61 billion from FY 2010 levels for the remainder of FY 2011 is no friend of nuclear safety. A rundown of the bill reveals the following cuts:

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Who’s Really Behind Lawmakers’ Attacks on Regulation?

Paul Blumenthal from the Sunlight Foundation describes on The Huffington Post how the for-profit college industry is leveraging campaign contributions to convince Congress to do the industry’s bidding.

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CBO Monthly Budget Review, February 2011

Congressional Budget Office

The Congressional Budget Office's (CBO) Monthly Budget Review (MBR) for February is out and it has piqued deficit hawks around Washington. The thing is, though, February's MBR is just like all the rest of CBO's recent monthly budget reports: it reveals that the country spent a lot more money than it took in over the previous thirty-day period.

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Obama Issues Memo on Federal-State Relationship; Intent Unclear

Last week, President Obama quietly issued a memo titled, “Administrative Flexibility, Lower Costs, and Better Results for State, Local, and Tribal Governments.” The memo directs the Office of Management and Budget to work with state and local entities to identify “unnecessary administrative, regulatory, and legislative burdens” in order to achieve “better outcomes at lower cost.”

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A Strong FDA Benefits the Economy

Contrary to the recent claims of many House Republicans, regulation can actually be of great benefit to the U.S. economy, as OMB Watch discussed in the latest issue of our newsletter, The Watcher. One place where that is especially true is at the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), where regulators ensure not only safe and healthy food and medical products but also provide stability and predictability for the industries they oversee.

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Special Interest Wish List Goes Along for the Ride on House CR

In the early hours of Saturday, Feb. 19, the House of Representatives passed a budget plan to continue funding the operations of the federal government for the remaining seven months of fiscal year (FY) 2011. In addition to $65.5 billion in cuts to discretionary spending, the bill (H.R.

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House Panel to Debate REINS Act and Its Awful Consequences

Today, a House panel will consider a bill that would create radical and damaging changes to the regulatory process and would undermine safeguards critical to our health, welfare, environment, and economy.

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