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CONGRESS

Subpoena issued on use of funds to promote health law

Saying the Obama administration has refused to come clean about how it promoted the president’s signature health care law, the chairman of a key House committee issued a subpoena Wednesday demanding that the Department of Health and Human Services explain whether taxpayer funds were used to put Obamacare in a positive light.

Rep. Dave Camp, chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee, said the Obama administration has “repeatedly stonewalled” the committee’s requests for information related to news reports that HHS spent millions of taxpayer dollars on pro-Affordable Care Act websites and television commercials.

“The lack of response leads me to believe that this administration is either unwilling to disclose why they are using taxpayer dollars to market their unpopular law or are unable to keep track of how those taxpayer dollars are being spent,” the Michigan Republican said in a press release. “Either way, the American people deserve to know where their hard-earned money is going.”

Mr. Camp and Rep. Charles W. Boustany Jr., Louisiana Republican and oversight subcommittee chairman, threatened to subpoena HHS last month, writing that the department’s “failure to provide a single responsive document to the committee’s reasonable requests leaves only two possibilities: either the department is unable to keep track of the work products it buys with taxpayer dollars or the department is trying to delay any response until after this year’s election.”

SENATE

As predicted, Angus King to caucus with Democrats

Independent Sen.-elect Angus King of Maine said Wednesday he has decided to caucus with Democrats, which will add to the party’s voting edge.

His decision ends months of speculation about which party he would align with.

The former Maine governor was elected last week to replace retiring Republican Sen. Olympia J. Snowe, a prominent centrist who complained about Washington’s partisan gridlock in stepping down. GOP and conservative super PACs spent millions of dollars to attack Mr. King during the campaign for Ms. Snowe’s seat.

With Mr. King joining their caucus, Democrats will have a 55-45 edge in the Senate. Mr. King said that caucusing with Democrats will still allow him to take independent positions on issues.

TRADE

Advisory panel wants more China oversight

A congressional advisory panel Wednesday urged tighter screening of investment by Chinese state-owned companies in the U.S., saying they present unfair competition to American firms.

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