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Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider

Jamie Dupree's Washington Insider 

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Report: Workers got full pay and bonuses for little work

In a new report, internal investigators say more than $5 million in federal resources were wasted at the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office as a group of workers were allowed to draw full pay, benefits and bonuses while doing little actual work for several years. "The volume of hours charged ...

VA reform deal price tag at $17 billion

Despite adding billions to the federal deficit, a bipartisan $17 billion plan to help reform the VA seems to be on its way to approval this week in the Congress, as key lawmakers vowed on Monday to push the bill through the House and Senate by the end of this ...

Congress stumbles toward a summer break

The focus in the Congress this week is on getting a few things done before the annual summer break for lawmakers, as after this Friday, the House and Senate won't be in legislative session again until after Labor Day, what's known in Washington, D.C. as the August Recess. Usually, the ...

VA scandal touches a nerve

As a reporter, you can always tell when a story takes another step forward because listeners and readers begin getting in touch with you to either tell their stories or to offer up insights of their own. And that's where we seem to have arrived with questions about the Department ...

While on a site visit to a VA benefits facility in Philadelphia, one staff member from the House Veterans Affairs Committee saw a note written by a VA worker about the investigative visit - it said the VA should ignore their work.

Whistleblowers rap VA's "culture of corruption"

In a hearing that stretched until almost 1 am, it was a familiar story line before the House Veterans Affairs Committee on Monday night - but from a different part of the VA - as another panel of whistleblowers detailed how they raised questions about troubles inside the agency, only ...

New charges of VA data manipulation

Internal investigators at the Department of Veterans Affairs have told Congress that some VA workers were "cooking the books" on benefit claims by veterans to make it look like the work was being done in a more timely fashion, much like earlier charges that VA schedulers were changing dates to ...

Congress grapples with Obama border plan

As top Obama Administration officials presented their arguments for a $3.7 billion plan to deal with a surge of kids coming over the border into the United States, there was evidence both of tough sledding ahead for the White House and maybe also the seeds of a deal to approve ...

Feds wrongly paid out $106 billion in 2013

In the bureaucratic lexicon of Washington, D.C., they are known as "improper payments," where Uncle Sam wrongly pays out billions of dollars each year. On Wednesday, a House committee was told that those payments totaled almost $106 billion in 2013. "Actually, it's over $100 billion each of the last five ...

Whistleblowers paint dark picture of VA

In a hearing that stretched to midnight Tuesday night, the VA faced more bipartisan Congressional criticism as a group of four whistleblowers detailed how they spoke up about internal problems only to be subjected to personal attacks and retaliation from supervisors and top officials in the VA. "I was immediately ...

Obama requests $3.7 billion to deal with border surge

President Obama has sent Congress a request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help deal with a recent surge of children and adults from Central America - almost half of that would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to deal with the care and detention of ...

Feds limit reporters on border kids visits

As members of Congress and reporters ask to visit federal facilities housing children who have been apprehended by the U.S. in recent months, federal officials are slapping limits on members of the news media who want a glimpse inside. For example, an email sent to news organizations by Jesus Garcia, ...

Can Congress actually change the VA?

One easy target in the political controversy over long wait times and substandard care for veterans is certainly the VA leadership, which even the White House says has allowed a "corrosive" culture to develop inside that agency. But it is difficult to review these VA troubles without wondering why the ...

US steps up overseas airline security

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that because of "recent and relevant" information the U.S. would be stepping up security measures at certain overseas airports which have direct flights to the United States. "We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as ...

Feds struggle with health law data troubles

A new report from the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services says the Obama Administration has been struggling for months to resolve data discrepancies involving millions of signups for coverage under the Obama health law - and that 2.6 million "inconsistencies" weren't fixed as of the ...

Obama: I'll act on my own on immigration

Frustrated by a lack of action in the House on immigration reform legislation, President Obama lashed out at Republicans in Congress on Monday, vowing to use his executive powers to make unilateral changes in U.S. immigration policy matters. "I'm beginning a new effort to fix as much of our immigration ...

Supreme Court rules in favor of Hobby Lobby

The U.S. Supreme Court decided Monday that certain closely held, for profit businesses can opt out of the birth control coverage mandate under the Obama health law, ruling that such firms cannot be forced to violate the religious views of their owners. "Today's decision is a landmark decision for religious ...

White House report slams "corrosive culture" at VA

The White House piled on to recent attacks on the quality of care for veterans at the VA, issuing a report late Friday that bluntly said the health care arm of the VA "needs to be restructured and reformed," giving new impetus to efforts in Congress to make dramatic changes ...

Supreme Court rebukes Obama on recess appointments

In a victory for Senate Republicans and a major legal defeat for the White House, a unanimous U.S. Supreme Court found that President Obama wrongly installed several members of the National Labor Relations Board, ruling that the appointments were not made when the Senate was truly on recess. "Because the ...

Emails go missing at the EPA

Congressional investigators have run into another example of missing emails, this time at the Environmental Protection Agency, as federal officials tried to assure lawmakers they were doing all they could to extract data from the failed computer hard drive of a former employee. "We may have some emails that we ...

GOP Establishment strikes back in Mississippi

All the stars seemed aligned for Tea Party and more conservative groups in the Magnolia State, as they prepared for a GOP runoff victory against veteran Sen. Thad Cochran (R-MS) - but when the votes were counted in Mississippi, the GOP Establishment had chalked up another 2014 victory on the ...

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