Correspondent, political and general news
Andy's Feed
Jan 15, 2014

No earmarks in U.S. spending bill, but plenty of money for folks back home

WASHINGTON, Jan 15 (Reuters) – Earmarks may be a thing of
the past for Congress, but lawmakers still tout their ability to
deliver the bacon through a $1.1 trillion federal spending bill
that won passage in the House of Representatives on Wednesday.

The 1,582-page bill is officially free of the spending for
pet projects that spurred public outrage and were banned in 2010
after Republicans won control of the House of Representatives.

Jan 8, 2014

U.S. is ‘taking from the young,’ top business lobbyist says

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The top lobbyist in Washington for American business warned in unusually stark terms on Wednesday that younger Americans will face diminished economic prospects in coming years unless the United States reins in spending on the elderly and improves its education system.

“I worry that for the first time in history, we’re in a situation where America is taking from the young in order to support the old,” Thomas Donohue, the head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, said in a speech that laid out the powerful business group’s agenda.

Dec 23, 2013

In wake of budget deal, Congress slices up trillion-dollar pie

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – As Washington empties out for the holidays, a final budget fight will play out in the nearly empty Capitol building as congressional staffers parcel out more than $1 trillion to fund everything from cybersecurity to student loans.

Unlike the knock-down budget battles that paralyzed government for much of the year, this debate will largely take place within what one lobbyist calls a “cone of silence” with Republicans and Democrats aiming to minimize discord as they race to set spending levels for thousands of individual government programs.

Dec 22, 2013

Big Oil sits out lobbying on Iran as U.S. Congress stands firm

WASHINGTON, Dec 22 (Reuters) – As debate rises in Washington
over the first thaw in relations between Iran and the United
States in decades, powerful oil companies are opting for an
unusual tactic: silence.

Oil companies such as Exxon Mobil Corp and
ConocoPhillips could earn huge profits if the United
States loosened economic sanctions on Iran, allowing access to
its oil and natural gas fields, some of the world’s largest and
least costly to produce.

Dec 12, 2013

U.S. Congress poised to limit contractor pay: Is $487,000 a year enough?

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Congress is poised to nearly halve the salary cap for U.S. government contractors after years of dramatic increases driven by skyrocketing executive pay.

A broad budget bill likely to win approval by the House of Representatives on Thursday would lower the cap to $487,000 a person, down from its current level of $952,000. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week.

Dec 11, 2013

In Arkansas, crucial Obamacare hub draws little notice

, Dec 11 (Reuters) – In an unmarked building on
the outskirts of this old railroad town, hundreds of workers are
going about the unglamorous work of expanding the United States’
social safety net.

From morning until midnight, clerks here type up the names,
Social Security numbers and other personal details of those who
have filled out paper applications for health insurance under
President Barack Obama’s Affordable Care Act.

Nov 26, 2013

Obama administration proposes new limits on tax-exempt political groups

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – The Obama administration proposed new rules on Tuesday to rein in tax-exempt groups that have transformed the U.S. political landscape in recent years by harnessing hundreds of millions of dollars in anonymous donations to influence elections.

The proposal would alter definitions in the tax code that allow limited campaign and fundraising activities by the tax-exempt groups, some of which have been at the center of allegations that the Internal Revenue Service targeted conservative Tea Party groups for extra scrutiny.

Nov 23, 2013

Analysis: U.S. businesses back Tea Party Republicans after shutdown

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – Business groups waged a fierce lobbying campaign last month to convince Republicans to re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling, but many of the most influential U.S. corporations have not cut off support to lawmakers who did not heed their appeal.

Eight of the most active business PACs wrote checks totaling $84,750 to 56 Republicans in the Senate and the House of Representatives after they voted against an October 16 deal to re-open the government that had been shut down since October 1 and avert an imminent debt default, according to a Reuters analysis.

Nov 23, 2013

U.S. businesses back Tea Party Republicans after shutdown

WASHINGTON, Nov 23 (Reuters) – Business groups waged a
fierce lobbying campaign last month to convince Republicans to
re-open the government and raise the debt ceiling, but many of
the most influential U.S. corporations have not cut off support
to lawmakers who did not heed their appeal.

Eight of the most active business PACs wrote checks totaling
$84,750 to 56 Republicans in the Senate and the House of
Representatives after they voted against an Oct. 16 deal to
re-open the government that had been shut down since Oct. 1 and
avert an imminent debt default, according to a Reuters analysis.

Nov 19, 2013

Insight: Health site woes show Washington misses out on cutting edge tech

WASHINGTON (Reuters) – One part of the Obama administration’s technically flawed HealthCare.gov website is actually working as promised. Unfortunately, the company that built it does not intend to seek more government business.

Working out of a garage a few blocks north of the White House, a 12-person software shop called Development Seed built a customer interface praised for its elegance and stability, a bright spot in the rollout of a website that has been an embarrassment for President Barack Obama.

    • About Andy

      "As a politics and general-news correspondent, I’ve covered four budget crises, three presidential elections, two hurricanes and one exploding bridge since joining Reuters in 2000. One of my stories in the 2012 election inspired a spoof on “Saturday Night Life.” I’m a native of Cape Elizabeth, Maine and in my free time I play guitar in several rock bands around Washington, D.C."
    • More from Andy

    • Follow Andy