New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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Senate Bill Lowers Contractor Compensation Cap Nearly $300K

A Senate bill would reset the maximum amount taxpayers pay government contractors for their employees’ compensation back to its original level, adjusted for inflation, and would change the formula for determining future increases in this level. This is commonly referred within government and contracting circles as the contractor compensation cap.

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GAO: Lower Contractor Compensation Caps Would Save Hundreds of Millions

Hundreds of millions of dollars per year could be saved if Congress lowers the maximum amount the government reimburses contractors for their employees’ compensation, according to a new report released yesterday by the Government Accountability Office (GAO), Congress’ investigative arm.

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White House At Odds With House on Weapons Cancellations

It's an old battle: executive branch expertise on how it thinks taxpayer dollars should be spent versus the congressional power of the purse. This story plays out often in the yearly authorization and appropriations bills for the Department of Defense (DOD). This year is not any different as a White House statement from yesterday makes clear.

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Senate Passes Amendments to Shed Light on Contractor Misbehavior

The Senate has approved several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254), which will bring greater transparency and accountability to federal contracting. The amendments, which OMB Watch endorsed, would strengthen whistleblower protections for federal contractors and grantees, modeled after the protections pioneered in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

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Federal Appeals Court Behavior Creates Gridlock

Steve Pearlstein’s latest column, published in The Washington Post earlier this week, exposed the aggressive, anti-regulatory decisions of the United States Court of Appeals for the D.C. Circuit. These decisions are driven by industry arguments designed to create policymaking gridlock.

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OMB Watch Lauds the Introduction of DATA Act in the Senate

WASHINGTON, Sept. 21, 2012—OMB Watch welcomed the introduction of a revised version of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act, or DATA Act, in the Senate and commended Sens. Mark Warner (D-VA) and Rob Portman (R-OH) for working together on this important legislation. The DATA Act will provide an unprecedented level of transparency and create critical new tools to track and analyze federal spending and hold officials accountable for their decisions.

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Next Steps for Spending Transparency Revealed in Senate Hearing

At a Senate committee hearing on July 18, the Obama administration announced that it's putting Treasury payment data online, but members of the committee indicated that the government still has a way to go to establish satisfactory federal spending transparency. A legislative path forward, members suggested, will likely be a modified version of the House-passed Digital Accountability and Transparency Act (DATA Act).

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Treasury Department: We’re Going to Show You the Money

 Testifying before a Senate hearing on federal spending transparency, Richard L. Gregg, the Treasury Department's Fiscal Assistant Secretary, announced a major advancement in federal spending transparency: starting in 2013, the public will be able to see Treasury data on agency expenses and payments to recipients of federal contracts, grants, and loans.

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GAO: New Contractor ID System Needed

When the federal government is handing out thousands of contracts to more than half a million contractors, it's important to have a robust system for tracking the companies that receive each contract. Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the federal government's use of a private, proprietary corporate identification system to track federal contractors and award recipients. Because corporations are continually acquiring new firms and/or merging with others, it is often difficult to keep track of which companies are actually responsible for the work the government has contracted out. The report recommended the government adopt a new approach to tracking this information.

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America Would Know Less Under House Census Policy

Since 1790, Americans have used the Census as a tool to understand who we are and where we stand as a nation. However, our ability to gather this crucial data would be crippled under a bill recently passed by the House.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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