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February 8, 2014 | By Timothy M. Phelps
WASHINGTON -- In a new milestone for gay rights, Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. will issue a directive Monday expanding government recognition of same-sex marriages to all federal courtrooms and prisons, and some federal benefits programs. The new policy, which Holder plans to announce Saturday night at a gay rights dinner in New York City, means the Justice Department will not object if gay or lesbian partners refuse to testify against their spouses in federal criminal and civil cases, and will push for them to be accorded the same rights in Bankruptcy court as other married couples.
April 15, 2014
Re "BLM relents after standoff," April 13 Relenting to the demands of the armed supporters of Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy, who has his cattle graze on public land but refuses to pay the U.S. Bureau of Land Management, sends a dangerous message: that disputes with the federal government are best resolved with threats of violence. This outcome will only inspire more radicals to take arms against the U.S. government. This is a serious setback for civil discourse and undermines the rule of law that all citizens need for safety and stability.
March 3, 2013 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON - Signaling a cease-fire of sorts in Washington's bitter budget wars, Republican leaders in Congress and a senior White House official expressed optimism Sunday that they can reach a deal to avoid adding a painful government shutdown this month to the deep budget cuts that just began.  “I'm hopeful that the House and Senate will be able to work through this,” House Speaker John A. Boehner (R-Ohio) said on NBC's “Meet the Press.” He said he was “absolutely” committed to keeping the government running.
April 14, 2014 | By Michael A. Memoli
WASHINGTON - Lower-than-expected health insurance premiums under Obamacare will help cut the long-term cost of the program 7% over the next decade, according to the latest report from the Congressional Budget Office. The government's reduction of $104 billion in subsidies for those premiums was the main factor that led the nonpartisan fiscal watchdog to cut its projection of the nation's federal deficit by nearly $300 billion through 2024. According to the CBO report, released Monday, the average annual premium for the new healthcare exchanges' mid-level Silver plan - used as a benchmark - is expected to be $4,400 by 2016.
July 3, 2013 | By Adolfo Flores
Despite making progress, the federal government fell short of its 2012 small-business contracting goals, according to figures released Tuesday. U.S. agencies awarded 22.25% of federal contracts to small firms, just shy of the goal of 23%, the Small Business Administration said. But it was an increase from 21.65% in 2011. The government did exceed its contract goals for small businesses owned by people of color and disabled veterans. However, it missed its goals for small businesses owned by women and those in historically underserved business zones.
October 11, 2011 | By Robin Abcarian
Michele Bachmann and Newt Gingrich unleashed scathing critiques against the federal government, blaming it for causing the economic meltdown that has devastated the nation's housing market. “Do you think it's right that no Wall Street executives have gone to jail?” asked moderator Karen Tumulty. Bachmann put the blame squarely not on Wall Street but on the government. "The federal government that pushed the subprime loans, that pushed the Community Reinvestment Act,” she said.
September 30, 2013 | By Kathleen Hennessy
WASHINGTON - With the House and Senate locked in stalemate, the Office of Management and Budget formally began shutting down the government late Monday, ordering federal agencies to prepare for funding to expire and to execute contingency plans. "Unfortunately, we do not have a clear indication that Congress will act in time for the president to sign a continuing resolution before the end of the day tomorrow, Oct. 1, 2013. Therefore, agencies should now execute plans for an orderly shutdown due to the absence of appropriations,” wrote OMB director Sylvia M. Burwell in a memorandum circulated at 11:45 p.m. Eastern time.
October 3, 2012 | By Robin Abcarian
Jim Lehrer, moderator of the first presidential debate, had the habit of asking President Obama and Mitt Romney to delineate their differences with each other on important issues of the day. It was perhaps his way of trying to create a spark Wednesday night. Unfortunately, as a technique, it didn't really work - at least not at setting off oratorical combat.  Case in point, this question from Lehrer: “Do you believe, both of you, there's a fundamental difference between the two of you as to how you view the mission of the federal government?
April 27, 2012 | Wire reports
The federal government is investigating the business practices of the NBA players' union. The union confirmed Friday it has received a subpoena for documents from the U.S. attorney's office in Manhattan and says it will cooperate with the investigation. The NBPA also said in a statement that it has appointed a special committee to oversee an internal inquiry, including a financial audit. Recent reports have questioned the NBPA's finances and spending practices, largely having to do with the hiring of family members and firms that employ relatives of Executive Director Billy Hunter . Hunter says he will cooperate with the internal inquiry, but will not be in involved in the effort so it remains independent.
January 10, 1996 | Reuters
The federal government will be closed due to weather for a third straight day as the Washington area continues to dig itself out from one of the heaviest snowfalls on record, U.S. officials said Tuesday night. Earlier in the day, the Office of Personnel Management had announced plans to reopen the government today, but new snowfall proved too much to clean up.
March 13, 2014 | By Marc Lifsher
SACRAMENTO - California's deficit-plagued unemployment insurance program missed out on more than half a billion dollars in federal money in recent years when state officials failed to take advantage of a new federal program. The California state auditor said Thursday that all the Employment Development Department needed to do was invest about $323,000 in computer software modifications to recoup $516 million in money overpaid to people getting jobless benefits between February 2011 and September 2014.
February 27, 2014 | By Scott Martelle
When is a crime not a crime? Apparently when it happens on Wall Street. Ever since the financial meltdown of 2007, prosecutors and market regulators have struggled with how to handle evidence of a wide range of chicanery by Wall Street financial firms and banking giants - most of which are flourishing again, by the way, while American workers continue to struggle with high unemployment, high underemployment and stagnant wages. Some cases have been brought, but the federal government almost invariably lets the offending bank or firm off with a fine, and no admission of guilt.
February 25, 2014 | By Maeve Reston
HONOLULU - When the federal government began parceling out billions of dollars for the new health insurance marketplaces under the Affordable Care Act, President Obama's home state was in an enviable position. Hawaii already had one of the highest insured rates in the nation as the result of a 40-year-old state law requiring employers to provide coverage. The state received more than $205 million in federal money to build a health insurance exchange to serve those still uninsured.
February 20, 2014 | By Joseph Tanfani
PORT MONMOUTH, N.J. - Perhaps borrowing a bit of stagecraft from his idol,  Bruce Springsteen, Gov. Chris Christie let a 3-year-old girl ask the last question at a town hall meeting Thursday. “Our house is still broken,” said Nicole Brier, one of the many in the packed VFW Hall here whose home was damaged in Superstorm Sandy - and who are still waiting, with increasing anger, for state aid to come through. “I understand your frustration,” Christie said. “I feel it myself.
February 14, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
A federal judge threw out Santa Monica's lawsuit to wrest control of its airport from the U.S. government this week, but community activists vowed on Friday to keep fighting to shut down the historic facility. "This case is far from over," said Martin Rubin, director of Concerned Citizens Against Airport Pollution. "If the city of Santa Monica wants to close the airport and use it in a fashion that would be more beneficial economically and environmentally, then the Federal Aviation Administration should allow them to do just that.
February 13, 2014 | By Dan Weikel
The effort to close Santa Monica Airport suffered a major setback Thursday when a federal judge threw out the city's lawsuit that sought to wrest control of the facility from the federal government. U.S. District Judge John F. Walters dismissed the claim that title to the oldest operating airport in Los Angeles County should be returned to the city because the action was brought too late under the statute of limitations. Walters also threw out the allegations that the city was denied due process and that the federal government did not properly compensate the city for taking the property in violation of the U.S. Constitution.
February 25, 1992
The federal government is to pay the South Coast Air Quality Management District more than $579,000 in outstanding pollution permit fees for four military bases and an additional $110,000 as a penalty under a federal district court settlement. March Air Force Base in Riverside County, Norton Air Force Base in San Bernardino County and the Tustin and El Toro Marine Corps bases in Orange County refused to pay annual emission fees in 1988, contending that they were exempt from such payments.
February 13, 2014 | By Tony Barboza
Obama administration officials met with a nationwide task force of state and local leaders in Los Angeles Thursday to hear what the federal government can do to help communities confront climate change. Gov. Jerry Brown and Los Angeles Mayor Eric Garcetti were among the governors, mayors and tribal leaders from across the country who joined federal officials for a closed-door meeting at Los Angeles City Hall. It was the second meeting since President Obama appointed the Task Force on Climate Preparedness and Resilience last fall.
February 13, 2014 | By Richard Simon, Alana Semuels and Michael Muskal
WASHINGTON -- A full-blown nor'easter huffed and puffed its way through the mid-Atlantic region Thursday, shutting airports and government offices a day after the storm battered much of the Old South, leaving hundreds of thousands without electricity and many heeding warnings to stay home and avoid dangerous roads. Up to more than a foot of snow had fallen in parts of Virginia, Maryland and Pennsylvania and the storm was still packing plenty of power as it punched its way through the metropolitan New York area, heading toward New England.
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