Washington (CNN) – Nearly lost in the chaotic last few days, the dueling House and Senate gave fast-track approval to at least one immigration bill - a measure extending 1,000 more special visas to Afghan citizens who have been working for the United States.
Under current law, 3,000 so-called Special Immigrant Visas were available this year to Afghanistan citizens who have worked as U.S. interpreters or in other key roles. Anyone who qualifies technically has until the end of September to apply, but demand has swelled and all 3,000 spots have already been given out or designated.
Washington (CNN) – Senators trying to mount a head-on battle with the House over highway funding may have doomed their own bill with a $2 billion mistake.
“We are working to address this technical error,” wrote Tara DiJulio, spokeswoman for Republican Sen. Bob Corker of Tennessee, who cosponsored the legislation along with two Democrats.
Washington (CNN) – Ramping up his investigation of the White House and whether it illegally used government staff for political purposes, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa released audio of a 2012 voicemail message that his office says depicts then-Labor Secretary Hilda Solis asking an employee working for her to contribute money and recruit others to attend a fundraiser for the pro-Obama Organizing For America.
In a release, the committee called the phone message a clear violation of the Hatch Act, which limits political activity for government officials.
updated 4:10pm ET
Washington (CNN) – Two days after a little-known rules change became public, the chairman of the House Ethics Committee announced a complete reversal Thursday, and the committee reinstated a requirement for how members disclose privately-funded trips.
Ethics Chairman Michael Conaway, R-Texas, revealed the U-turn during a local radio interview in Texas Thursday morning. A few hours later, the committee sent out an official seven-page statement confirming the reversal.
WASHINGTON (CNN) - One day after focusing on lost e-mails at the IRS, the House Oversight Committee learned Wednesday that the Environmental Protection Agency is also having trouble recovering e-mails the committee wants as part of a separate investigation.
McCarthy: "There is a challenge"
EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy told the Republican-led committee that the agency cannot access some e-mails belonging to a biologist who worked on a controversial mining project assessment. It is a hard drive problem, but McCarthy was careful to not call it a "hard drive crash" or destroyed hard drive. FULL POST
Washington (CNN) – Expanding his IRS investigation by more than two decades, House Oversight Chairman Darrell Issa, R-California, has sent a subpoena to the Federal Elections Commission for all communications involving former IRS administrator Lois Lerner from January 1, 1986 to the present day.
This new search is the broadest-yet for records in a year-long investigation by Issa and congressional Republicans, who are trying to assess why the agency targeted tea party and other political groups for extra scrutiny.
Washington (CNN) – A new round of scrutiny hit the IRS on Monday as senators from both parties summoned the agency’s chief to Capitol Hill, one House committee set up a new investigative hearing and another issued a subpoena for the head of the agency to appear.
This came after the IRS announced that up to two years of e-mails from former agency manager Lois Lerner were destroyed when her hard drive crashed in 2011. Lerner ran the IRS division that oversaw tax-exempt status and is a key figure in the investigation into why the agency targeted tea party and other groups. The IRS says it has worked to recover the Lerner e-mails by searching through the accounts of dozens of employees who may have corresponded with her.
(CNN) - It is a rare, strange day when Senate Republicans vote to block billions in tax cuts. But that's what happened Thursday when they chose to freeze a massive tax credit package in order to protest how Democrats are running the chamber.
By a vote of 53-40, the EXPIRE Act, which would extend $85 billion in tax credits, failed to get the 60 votes needed to overcome a filibuster.
Washington (CNN) – Top Senate Democrat Harry Reid struck a significant blow to one of President Barack Obama’s judicial nominations Wednesday, as the senator’s office confirmed that Reid personally opposes Michael Boggs’ nomination to the federal bench.
Reid spokesman Adam Jentleson told CNN that the Democratic leader feels he cannot vote for Boggs’ nomination to the U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Georgia, given Boggs’ past views on abortion, gay marriage and the Confederate flag.