154 results for tag: Big Government


U.S. attorney general declines to prosecute EPA employee in center of pollution scandal

The Environmental Protection Agency employee in the thick of the scandal that polluted three U.S. rivers due to a Colorado mine wastewater spill will not face prosecution, the U.S. Attorney General’s office says. The Washington Examiner has the details: The EPA's Office of Inspector General said Wednesday that it found evidence the unnamed employee may have violated the Clean Water Act and given false statements. But spokesman Jeff Ladga said the Justice Department will not pursue the case. Instead, the case will be sent to the agency's leaders. "The EPA is required to report to the Office of Inspector General any administrative action taken ...

Study: Common Core benefits to students, educators ‘elusive’

Recent analysis released last month of federal funding for Common Core standards shows the only winners of its implementation are not students but those who set the draft the curriculum and set the agenda. The Washington Times has the details: The study, titled “Smart Money? Philanthropic and Federal Funding for the Common Core,” was released in September by the Education Policy Analysis Archives. It concludes, “In essence, those who set directions for the Common Core and those who provided resources for its implementation have benefited, even as potential benefits to schools, educators, and students are elusive, and the entire claim may ...

IRS persists in singling out, delaying tea-party groups’ tax-exempt-status applications

Authorities at the Internal Revenue Service after promising to speed up processing on long-in-limbo tax-exempt-status applications of conservative groups is reversing course and doubling down on their demands for additional documentation. The Washington Times has the scoop: More jarringly, the IRS then publicly released one of the sets of questions it sent to the Texas Patriots Tea Party — a move the group’s lawyer says puts secret taxpayer return information, supposed to be protected, out in the public. Tax experts say the IRS may be on safe legal ground, since the filing was made as part of a court case, and that’s one of the few narrow ...

Labor Department orders private companies with federal contracts to give employees up to seven sick days

Officials at the Labor Department Thursday ruled federal contractors – private companies who contract with the federal government like Humana, General Electric, General Dynamics, Hewlett-Packard Company, MIT, AT&T, the list goes on – are required to give employees up to seven days of sick time annually, allegedly creating a new benefit for more than 650,000 workers. The Washington Examiner has the story: In addition to the new Labor rule, the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission announced that starting in March, it will collect new data from employers that will let it improve investigations of possible pay discrimination… The EEOC ...

Bill demands stronger protections for VA whistleblowers

Congressional plans to encourage Veterans Affairs employees to speak out against departmental abuses like waste and negligence – and shield such whistleblowers from retaliation – may soon be put to a vote. Stars and Stripes has the story: A long-stalled plan in Congress to strengthen protections for Veterans Affairs Department employees who disclose waste and misconduct – and to punish officials who retaliate against them – is poised to hitch a ride to enactment this week on the high-priority measure to head off a partial government shutdown… While the measure would continue funding most government operations only through Dec. 9, the ...

Senators seeking answers in case of vet who allegedly committed suicide while on VA waiting list

 U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.) Tuesday requested an investigation into a report an Army veteran committed suicide when he was awaiting care for post-traumatic-stress disorder from those at a Veterans Affairs office in Colorado Springs, Colo. The department will work with the inspector general and the senators to determine what happened, agency spokesman Paul Sherbo said. The senators did not identify the soldier who killed himself but said he was 26 and had served as an Army Ranger. Gardner said he wanted to avoid a repeat of a 2014 scandal over long wait times that veterans endured to get health care, and ...

President Obama: Regulator in chief

President Obama in his almost eight years in office has upped the number of major regulations 31 percent over his predecessor George W. Bush adding more than $750 billion in overall costs to business and citizens and nearly 500 million more hours of paperwork, according to recent analysis. The Washington Examiner has the details: Businesses and conservative politicians have complained that the overwhelming burden of new federal regulations, especially in the health and financial world, has led to massive job cuts and bankruptcies. But the administration shows no sign of slowing down in the final leg of its eight years, said analyst Sam Batkins, ...

Inspector general accuses Denver-based VA of ‘gross mismanagement’

Federal investigators Wednesday accused those at a Denver, Colo.-based Veterans Affairs office of improperly overseeing construction of a VA hospital that ran over budget by millions of dollars. The St. Louis Post-Dispatch has the details: The inspector general accused the VA of “gross mismanagement” for assigning far too few engineers and project managers. [Sloan Gibson, deputy secretary of Veterans Affairs] said the department has taken responsibility for the problems and has made changes. Two weeks ago, [Fla. Republican Jeff] Miller’s committee subpoenaed documents on a separate internal VA investigation into the cost overruns. The ...

House panel subpoenas VA over pricey hospital, art


Arkansas VA spent $408 million on solar-panel project as veterans faced brutal wait-times

Officials at an Arkansas Veterans Affairs hospital over a five-year period spent $408 million a so-called “green management” solar-panel project that went over schedule and over budget as former servicemen and women awaited care long overdue, according to a VA inspector-general report spurred by members of Congress. The Daily Caller has the details: The move to solar is part of the VA’s Green Management Program, which is tasked with installing renewable energy sources at various medical facilities. The probe included 11 out of 15 solar panel projects awarded from 2010 through 2013, which were still incomplete in 2015. Each of the 11 solar ...