Originally published on Tue December 16, 2014 7:21 pm
After months of hints and Hamlet-esque worries about the woes of a modern presidential campaign, former Florida Gov. Jeb Bush announced on a Facebook post that he is "actively" exploring a presidential run.
House and Senate negotiators who thought they were close to a deal renewing expired tax breaks have a new factor to worry about: a veto threat from a White House unhappy about helping businesses but not the working poor.
The veto threat comes with Congress on Thanksgiving recess and planning only a couple of work weeks in December before it adjourns.
Originally published on Thu November 20, 2014 2:06 pm
Former Florida GOP Gov. Jeb Bush defended the Common Core education standards Thursday, but offered an olive branch to Republican activists who oppose them and are making them a litmus test for potential 2016 presidential candidates.
Bush's longtime support has put him crosswise with part of the Republican base. He said that he finds the new angst over Common Core "troubling," but that there is room for disagreement among those who more generally support school reform.
Originally published on Tue November 11, 2014 12:08 pm
Everyone knows Sen. Mitch McConnell had a great election night in Kentucky last week. As for the state's other Republican senator, Rand Paul, that's a different matter.
That's because while McConnell was cruising to a big re-election win on his way to becoming Senate majority leader, things did not go so well for Paul. He was hoping Republicans, who already control the Kentucky Senate, would also take over the state House — a result that would grease the path for a state law allowing him to run for both re-election and the presidency at the same time.
Why would anyone pay for something when the exact same thing is available for free? The answer seems obvious, yet the question remains relevant for an obscure federal agency still pursuing its Cold War mission in the age of the search engine.
Say you wanted to know more about supersonic retro-propulsion wind tunnel testing. Or ancient land use in the Maya Lowlands. Or a 1996 hazardous waste characteristics scoping study. OK, you don't really want to know about these things, but someone did, and someone did the research.
That "be on the lookout list" used to flag Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny of their tax-exemption applications?
It turns out it wasn't the only one the Internal Revenue Service had been using.
There were also other lists, covering a "broad spectrum" of categories and cases, according to a preliminary IRS report released Monday.
"Once we came to that conclusion, we took immediate action to suspend the use of these lists in the Exempt Organizations unit within IRS," said Danny Werfel, the new acting chief of the IRS, in a conference call with reporters.
The 10 biggest breaks, deductions and credits in the U.S. income tax code are costing the Treasury $900 billion this year, with more than half of that total benefiting the wealthiest 20 percent of taxpayers.
When the House held its much-anticipated hearing on Benghazi Wednesday, one major figure not at the witness table was Thomas Pickering, the former ambassador and co-chair of the Accountability Review Board that reported on last September's attacks.
Why wasn't he there?
That's somewhat in dispute. California Republican Darrell Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, put the blame squarely on the shoulders of Pickering and report co-author Adm. Mike Mullen.