Browsing: John Boehner

Shutdown Watch-Day 16: Could agencies reopen soon?

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Good morning! For federal employees, it might be hard to imagine an upside to a wild day on Capitol Hill that began with House Republicans singing “Amazing Grace” and ended with warnings from Fitch credit rating agency that it was looking closely at downgrading the United States’ creditworthiness. But yesterday’s chaos could also presage an end to the partial government shutdown that began Oct. 1. The reason is simple: Any deal to reopen agencies is tied to raising the nation’s debt ceiling and lawmakers could make real headway on the latter front today. After the House GOP leadership was unable…

Shutdown Watch-Day 15. It's white-knuckle time.

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Good morning! Let’s start the day with a cheery observation often attributed to the 18th-century English writer Samuel Johnson: “Nothing concentrates a man’s mind more than the prospect of being hanged in the morning.” Figuratively speaking, the same seems to be true of Congress. The specter of impending economic calamity, combined with rising public disapproval, (particularly for Republicans), over the partial government shutdown, appears to have prodded senators to close in on yet another stop-gap budget deal that could have just as easily been reached a month ago. As reported by Defense News, a sister publication of Federal Times, Senate…

Obama pushes for Senate transportation bill with phased retirement

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President Obama today urged the House to pass the transportation bill the Senate approved last week. That bill, S 1813, contains a provision to allow older feds to phase into retirement — that is, work part-time while earning a partial pension — at the end of their careers. House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, on March 8 said he planned to bring the Senate’s bill up for a vote, instead of the troubled House transportation bill. But he may change course on that. Boehner is facing resistance to the Senate bill from members of his own party, and The Hill reports…

Back pay legislation introduced for furloughed FAA workers

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Some encouraging news today for Federal Aviation Administration employees who spent the last two weeks on forced furloughs: A bipartisan group of House members has introduced a bill to pay them for the time off. Now that those workers are back on the job, “my focus is to get them back pay and to ensure this avoidable situation never happens again,” Rep. Frank LoBiondo, R-.N.J., whose district includes an FAA technical center, said in a news release. Also signing on to the legislation are House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee Chairman John Mica, R-Fla., Rep. Gerald Connolly, D-Va., and several other…

HP ranks Pelosi top Twitter influencer in Congress

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If you’re an advanced Tweeter, you’ve probably started the purging process and are now updating your account(s) to reflect changes in the House and Senate. If not, maybe this will help you get started. Or there’s always the unofficial list for the 112th Congress to make sure you don’t leave anyone out. Researchers at HP Labs have narrowed the list down to the 100 most influential members of Congress on Twitter based on an analysis of 22 million tweets. They developed an algorithm to identify “influential users,” who “not only catch the attention of their followers” but “also overcome their followers’ predisposition to remain passive,” Ethan…

Postal Service: Whipping boy of the health care debate

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As the debate over health care reform boils over, both sides are now using the U.S. Postal Service to score points. House Minority Leader John Boehner, June 11: If you like going to the DMV and think they do a great job, or you like going to the post office and think it’s the most efficient thing you’ve run into, then you’ll love the government-run health care system. And President Barack Obama at this afternoon’s health care town hall meeting in Portsmouth, N.H., as reported by the Associated Press: [Obama] also disputed the notion that adding a government-run insurance plan into a menu…