Government dysfunction came in as one of the biggest problems facing the country for both Democrats and Republicans in an Aug. 22 Gallup poll. About 16 percent of Democrats said a dysfunctional government was the most important problem facing America--that was the top vote getter, the poll says. About 20 percent of Republicans said the same thing, although government dysfunction ranked second for them behind immigration, which garnered 22 percent.
Talks of another possible government shutdown in October are starting as Congress has stalled on passing appropriations bills and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) has fired the first shot. But this time, defunding the Affordable Care Act isn't the impediment like it was last year. It's President Obama's use of executive power.
President Obama defended his use of executive power at an Aug. 6 news conference at the U.S.-Africa summit. Reporters at the press conference brought up a campaign quote that called out former President George W. Bush for going around Congress and acting on his own.
The Senate overwhelmingly approved a bill that would give the Veterans Affairs Department secretary more authority to fire agency executives and allow veterans to seek private care if wait times get too long. The bill (H.R.3230), on its way to President Obama's desk, was approved by the Senate in a 91 to 3 vote Thursday night and would provide the VA with more than $16 billion to deal with misconduct and wait times for veterans at VA medical centers.
The "Unlocking Consumer Choice and Wireless Competition Act" (S. 517) reverses an October 2012 decision by the Library of Congress's Copyright Office that said unlocking cellphones without the carrier's permission is prohibited under 1998 Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
The House passed a fiscal 2015 appropriations bill Wednesday that slashes funding for the Internal Revenue Service, but opens the way for President Obama to implement a pay bump for federal workers.
QuickPay requires agencies to pay small businesses with federal government contracts within 15 days of receiving an invoice, rather than the normal 30-day period, the statement says.
Visiting Texas for the first time since the immigration crisis at the Southwest border, President Obama said July 9 that he had a "constructive conversation" with Gov. Rick Perry about the surge of unaccompanied child migrants and what can be done to stem the tide.
President Obama came out strongly against the House's fiscal 2015 Energy Department and Army Corps of Engineers appropriations bill, saying some amendments boost the coal industry while others gut clean water protections.
Over the last month, the Veterans Affairs Department completed outreach to 135,000 veterans across the country and scheduled approximately 182,000 additional appointments in the wake of the recent scheduling controversy, Acting Secretary of Veterans Affairs Sloan D. Gibson told President Obama in a June 27 meeting. In addition to outreach and scheduling, the VA trained about 10,000 of its schedulers and allocated nearly $400 million to accelerate care for veterans, a readout of the meeting says.