May 10, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - The Internal Revenue Service improperly singled out conservative groups for extra scrutiny of their applications for nonprofit status, a top agency official said Friday, setting off calls for investigations into an organization already under fire for its handling of secret political spending by nonprofits. Employees at the agency's Cincinnati nonprofits office, while screening a flood of applications from so-called social welfare groups last year, set aside about 75 containing the words "tea party" and "patriot" for more detailed review, said Lois Lerner, IRS director of exempt organizations.
May 8, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Minutes after Greg Hicks learned that the perimeter of the U.S. mission in Benghazi had been breached by men with guns, he punched a cellphone number to reach Ambassador J. Christopher Stevens, his immediate boss, who was at the scene. "Greg, we're under attack," Stevens told Hicks, the deputy chief of the mission, Hicks testified to Congress on Wednesday. Then the connection was lost. Hicks never spoke to his boss again. Stevens died soon afterward, as the Benghazi mission went up in flames around him. Members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were universal in their praise of the gripping, soft-spoken, minute-by-minute account they heard Wednesday from Hicks, the first public testimony from a government official who was in Libya during the assault that killed four Americans in September.
April 24, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Top executives from failed hybrid car maker Fisker Automotive Inc. denied claims in Congress that the company had used political connections to secure $192 million in government loans to finance a flawed business plan. The executives appeared Wednesday before Congress for the first time since the Department of Energy seized $21 million Fisker had remaining in an account April 11. The Anaheim company was approved for a $529-million loan in 2010 and received $192 million before getting cut off. Fisker laid off most of its workers this month and is expected to file for bankruptcy.
February 5, 2013 |
Aaron Swartz may change the Internet yet again, even in death, with the help of lawmakers who have expressed a fondness for breaking the law. At a Washington, D.C., memorial Monday night, members of Congress and loved ones gathered to remember Swartz, who committed suicide on Jan. 11 while facing years in prison for mass-downloading scholarly articles. Swartz had already reshaped the Web experiences of millions by co-creating Reddit and the information-distribution service RSS. By turns, speakers at the Cannon House Office Building compared Swartz to Facebook founder Mark Zuckerberg, Apple founder Steve Jobs, and 20th century British programmer Alan Turing -- with Swartz as yet another cybergenius whose ambitions carried him to the law's edge.
January 30, 2013 |
WASHINGTON - Assistant U.S. Atty. Gen. Lanny A. Breuer, who made his mark ramping up the prosecution of white-collar crime and overseeing the government's Gulf of Mexico oil spill investigation, announced he is soon leaving his post as one of the longest serving heads of the Justice Department's Criminal Division. While Breuer, 54, had been expected to depart after serving four years in President Obama's first term, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Vista), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, noted that Breuer, who was formally admonished in the Fast and Furious scandal, has now become the third top Justice official to step down after the department's blistering inspector general's report into the flawed gun-tracking operation.
November 14, 2012 |
WASHINGTON - Despite last week's election, House Republicans kept up their attack on the Obama administration's 2010 healthcare law Wednesday, as the House Ways and Means Committee subpoenaed Secretary of Health and Human Services Kathleen Sebelius for information about the administration's efforts to promote the Affordable Care Act. Republicans have complained for years that the administration's multimillion-dollar public relations campaign touting...