The National Security Agency might scale back its storage of phone call data, NSA Director Gen. Keith Alexander suggested during a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing Feb. 27. While he did not go into detail about this alternative, only storing data that is "predicated on a terrorist communication" would be a departure for the Obama administration, which has defended bulk collection as a necessary practice.
The Defense Department will lead the hubs, which will receive $140 million in federal funding and a similar financial commitment from businesses and universities, the White House says. The Detroit-area institute will focus on lightweight and modern metals manufacturing, and the Chicago counterpart on digital manufacturing and design.
Federal agencies must complete the next round of fuel-efficiency and carbon-emissions standards for large and medium-sized trucks by March 2016, the White House said in a Feb. 18 fact sheet.
President Obama will ask for $1 billion for projects to better understand the impact of climate change in his proposed fiscal 2015 budget next month, a Feb. 14 White House fact sheet says.
President Obama made good on a promise in his State of the Union address and raised the minimum wage Wednesday for federal contract workers to $10.10 per hour starting in 2015.
About 3.3 million people signed up for health insurance under Affordable Care Act exchanges through the end of January, Health and Human Services officials said on a Feb. 12 press call.
The Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Court approved two proposals from President Obama to reform surveillance programs Feb. 5. The National Security Agency will now be allowed to query the telephony metadata it collects only following a court finding that reasonable, articulable suspicion exists that the telephone number is associated with an international terrorist group. Previously, it was up to the NSA to decide if its suspicion was reasonable and articulable. President Obama proposed the change during a speech Jan. 17.
With the debt ceiling deadline approaching, House Republicans leaders are backing off a fight to repeal Affordable Care Act provisions or Keystone XL pipeline approval in exchange for a debt limit hike.
Pressed by lawmakers at a hearing of the House Oversight subcommittee on government operations, Michael Botticelli, deputy director of the Office of National Drug Control Policy, did agree that by some measures, marijuana is less dangerous than other illegal drugs.
The federal budget deficit is set to reach its lowest point of the Obama presidency this year, then start growing again two years later, according to the Congressional Budget Office.