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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Commentary: Draft Executive Order on Contractor Disclosure of Political Contributions Is Important Accountability Tool

In late April, a draft executive order (E.O.) that had been circulating among federal agencies was leaked to the press. The draft order calls for potential federal contractors to disclose their political spending, and it has generated both support and harsh criticism.

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Reducing Influence Peddling in Government Contracting

Published April 27, 2011—In this piece, Gary Therkildsen and Gary D. Bass of OMB Watch argue that the federal government, namely the executive branch, must get serious about making public the information on any and all lobbying related to the federal procurement process. The authors use the Boeing tanker contract scandal as an illustration of the need for reform. This piece appeared as part of the "Solutions: Making Government Work" column on Truthout.

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Corporate Money Fuels Attack on Public Protections

An ongoing attack on the nation's regulatory safety net is being led by lawmakers with deep financial ties to the corporations and lobbying groups that often complain about federal standards, campaign finance data show.

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House Budget: More Exemptions and Lower Payments for Big Oil

In the latest issue of The Watcher, OMB Watch discusses (here and here) the recently passed House budget and the many non-budget provisions attached to it, including the anti-environmental riders that prevent the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and other agencies from doing this or that.

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A Bill to Save Lives and Cut the Deficit? Mining's Lawmakers Say No.

The House of Representatives this week failed to pass legislation aimed at improving working conditions for miners. The bill was crafted partly in response to an April explosion at the Upper Big Branch mine in West Virginia. The blast killed 29 miners – the worst coal mine disaster in the U.S. in 40 years.

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Jackson and Rockefeller Explore Different Ways to “Toast” the Clean Air Act

Happy belated birthday to the Clean Air Act which turned 40 on Tuesday, Sept. 14. In honor of the occasion, EPA Administrator Lisa Jackson gave a speech touting the many accomplishments of the act. Among them, health and life-saving benefits of gigantic proportions. EPA says that, in the act’s first 20 years alone, clean air programs prevented 205,000 premature deaths and 18 million respiratory illnesses among children.

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OMB Watch Applauds White House Move to Quickly Fill Ethics and Government Reform Roles upon Norm Eisen Departure

WASHINGTON, Aug. 6, 2010—Today, OMB Watch joined with several other good government groups to applaud the work of Norm Eisen, Special Counsel to the President for Ethics and Government Reform. The groups also expressed appreciation that the White House has moved swiftly to replace Eisen, who is departing to become Ambassador to the Czech Republic.

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Bill Would Create a Task Force for Enforcing the LDA

The Lobbying Disclosure Enhancement Act passed the House to establish a task force to strengthen enforcement of rules for federally registered lobbyists. Originally, the bill was the Fees on Lobbyists Act. It would have set up registration fees and fines for lobbyists' late filings to fund enforcement. However, the bill was amended to simply create the Lobbying Disclosure Enforcement Task Force.

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Groups Work to Change the LDA

Reportedly, the American League of Lobbyists is working with the Sunlight Foundation to change the Lobbying Disclosure Act (LDA). Once again Tom Daschle is the poster child for why such reform is needed. "Daschle, working with his firm's lobbyists, uses his decades of congressional experience to tell clients how to favorably influence policy.

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New Report Finds that Lobbyists' Deregistration Peaked in 2008

The Center for Responsive Politics (CRP) released a new report addressing the question of whether federal lobbyists are "deregistering." CRP found that the increase in deregistrations increased before President Barack Obama took office. As it turns out, policies meant to limit lobbyists' influence may not have played as great of a role in deregistrations as originally thought. CRP points out that "the process of deregistering is not straightforward."

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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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