President Obama directed agencies to make it easier for local jurisdictions to face the effects of climate change by directing them to scour their policies for barriers that discourage investments into national resilience or even increase the vulnerability of natural or man-made systems.
Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius conceded to a Senate Panel Wednesday that the Affordable Care Act healthcare exchange enrollment numbers for the first month will be very low. The numbers have yet to be released, but Sebelius said they would be released next week and include both Medicaid and health plan numbers in the new exchanges. "We are still at the beginning of a six month open enrollment which ends at the end of March," she said. "And there's plenty of time to sign up for the new plan."
Administration officials laid out a plan to bolster the government's role in recruiting foreign investing by coordinating the effort on the federal level, in a Wednesday evening call to reporters. States and cities have been responsible for luring business from abroad, National Economic Council Director Gene Sperling told reporters.
Administration officials laid out a plan to bolster the government's role in recruiting foreign investing by coordinating the effort on the federal level, in a Wednesday evening call to reporters.
The surveillance of German Chancellor Angela Merkel's cellphone by the National Security Agency has led to an uproar in Germany. Already, Der Spiegel reported, politicians in Germany have begun to consider a push to revoke a pact with the United States that allows U.S. Internet companies to store European customer data.
Damage control and political fire-fanning dominate the fourth week of healthcare.gov's existence, making the federal healthcare insurance website for the 36 states that refused to build their own insurance exchange the locus for partisan divide and continuing criticism of federal information technology management. A poll shows that a majority of Americans may already believe that website problems are part of a broader problem with the health insurance law's implementation.
Federal employees who were furloughed due to the government shutdown are entitled to receive back pay under the continuing resolution that funded the government through mid-January. Thousands of furloughed federal employees also claimed unemployment benefits during the shutdown.
As developers scramble to fix problems with healthcare.gov, the federal website for healthcare insurance exchanges, President Obama vowed to improve the website. He also said the product was good, even if the delivery system was flawed.
The Office of Management and Budget notified (.pdf) federal workers should return to work Thursday and begin the process of reopening offices. The bill (H.R. 2775) overwhelmingly passed the Senate 81-18 and the House. Every Democrat in both chambers voted for the bill. Just 87 Republican House members supported the bill.
A special envoy for the closure of the Guantanamo Bay detention facility is set to begin work Nov. 1. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced that Paul Lewis, currently the minority general counsel for the House Armed Services Committee, was chosen for the role. One hundred sixty-four prisoners remain at Guantanamo Bay, some of whom have been cleared for release since the mid-2000s.