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NATIONAL
July 13, 2012 | By Kim Geiger, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - Taking aim at California's pioneering efforts to bolster animal safety, the House Agriculture Committee has moved to block states from imposing their own standards for agriculture products on producers from other states. That could jeopardize California laws to protect chickens as well as one to ban foie gras, which took effect this month. The panel's amendment to the farm bill was a response to a California law, which will take effect in 2015, that requires that all eggs sold in the state be produced by hens held in cages big enough to allow the chickens to stand and spread their wings.
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NEWS
July 11, 2012 | By Kim Geiger
WASHINGTON -- An effort by food and beverage makers to gut a federal program that protects domestic sugar producers from foreign competition was roundly defeated Wednesday in the House Agriculture Committee. By a vote of 36 to 10, the committee opposed an amendment to the 2012 farm bill that would have allowed more imports of foreign sugar, making it less expensive for food and beverage companies to buy the ingredient.  A similar amendment was narrowly defeated in the Senate when that chamber passed its farm bill last month.
NEWS
July 9, 2012 | By Lisa Mascaro
WASHINGTON -- The House Ethics Committee has launched an investigation to further its inquiry into allegations that Rep. Shelley Berkley, the Nevada Democrat who is running for Senate, intervened to keep open a Las Vegas kidney transplant center in which her husband had a financial interest. The Ethics Committee has been reviewing the complaint filed by the Nevada Republican Party against the congresswoman since February, but voted unanimously to impanel an investigative subcommittee.
NATIONAL
June 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano, Washington Bureau
WASHINGTON - A House committee voted along party lines to find Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to provide subpoenaed documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, just hours after President Obama for the first time asserted executive privilege and backed the attorney general's refusal to release the material. The developments Wednesday set up a political standoff going into the November election and a significant constitutional clash between the White House and Congress that may not be resolved until after a lengthy journey through the courts.
NEWS
June 20, 2012 | By Richard A. Serrano
WASHINGTON -- The House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform voted to find Atty. Gen. Eric H. Holder Jr. in contempt of Congress for failing to provide subpoenaed documents in the flawed Fast and Furious gun-tracking case, just hours after President Obama asserted executive privilege and backed the attorney general's refusal to release the material. The vote for contempt and the White House insertion into the growing Southwest border “gun-walking” scandal set up a significant constitutional clash between the two branches of the federal government, one that ultimately may not be resolved until it reaches the courts.
BUSINESS
June 7, 2012 | By Jamie Goldberg
WASHINGTON — If the Transportation Security Administration wants to fix its poor public image, it might want to stop patting down recognizable passengers such as former Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld and former Secretary of State Henry Kissinger. "There are certain people that are just so well-known that you've just got to use your common sense," said Rep. Mike Rogers (R-Ala.), chairman of the House Homeland Security Transportation Subcommittee. "Because if you start patting them down, people are going to say, 'They're patting down Beyonce.' "I mean, she's not going to blow a plane up. " In an acknowledgment of continued public frustration with TSA, the subcommittee met Thursday to address the agency's efforts to fix its "poor customer service image and become a leaner, smarter agency.
BUSINESS
May 31, 2012 | By Jim Puzzanghera
WASHINGTON -- A House committee will question JPMorgan Chase & Co. Chief Executive Jamie Dimon next month on the bank's large trading loss. The House Financial Services Committee will hold its hearing on June 19, a committee spokeswoman said Thursday. The session will take place less than a week after Dimon is set to testify before the Senate Banking Committee on June 13. Lawmakers on both sides of Capitol Hill are looking at JPMorgan's trading loss of more than $2 billion to determine if it should affect the drafting of new financial regulations or if additional legislation is needed to prevent future incidents.
OPINION
February 19, 2012
When Rep. Darrell Issa, the California Republican who chairs the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, convened a hearing Thursday on religious freedom and the mandate that health insurers cover contraception, he ignited a firestorm of protest before he even started. The first of two panels he assembled was all male - something that a Democratic congresswoman on the committee noted immediately and not favorably, given thatwomen's healthwas at the heart of what was being discussed.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
February 1, 2012 | By Neela Banerjee
At the behest of the Republican leadership of a House of Representatives subcommittee, Capitol Police arrested Joshua Fox, the maker of the Oscar-nominated documentary “Gasland,” when he tried on Wednesday to film a subcommittee hearing on hydraulic fracturing, a controversial method used to tap oil and gas reservoirs. With its images of flammable tap water, “Gasland” publicized concerns among critics of hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, of the technology's possible effect on water supplies.
NATIONAL
December 20, 2011 | By David Willman, Washington Bureau
The House Energy and Commerce Committee is scrutinizing the award by the Obama administration of a $433-million sole-source contract for an experimental smallpox drug. In a letter sent Tuesday to Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius, committee Chairman Fred Upton (R-Mich.) and three of his Republican colleagues requested documents related to the awarding of the contract this year to Siga Technologies Inc., based in New York City. Siga's controlling shareholder is Ronald O. Perelman, a longtime Democratic Party donor.
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