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Former Rep. Robert E. Andrews of New Jersey pressed the VA to overturn the moratorium on using FedBid for reverse auctions. Emails show Mr. Andrews received over $11,000 from FedBid in campaign contributions. (Associated Press)

Congress defended disgraced contractor FedBid

- The Washington Times

FedBid, the politically connected contractor ousted by the VA, has benefited from a cadre of congressional allies who stepped in to defend the company and pressure the department to keep using its services, even as a top procurement officer was warning against it.

Powerful Republicans, such as incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell of Kentucky, have argued that the USA Freedom Act to limit data collection would curtail U.S. counterterrorism operations. (Associated Press)

Obama facing uphill battle in curbing NSA snooping

- The Washington Times

With the lame-duck Congress failing to advance bipartisan surveillance-reform legislation, President Obama faces an uphill climb next year with his plans to end the National Security Agency’s mass collection of phone records.

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Producers: Pipeline not a cure-all for rail delays

- Associated Press

South Dakota farmers are nearing the end of a record corn harvest this week, but they have serious concerns about grain prices, storage options and rail congestion heading into spring. And they're looking for more options than the Keystone XL pipeline to help.

Biden, Hillary increasingly walking away from Obama

- The Washington Times

Whether out of frustration or political necessity, some of President Obama's closest lieutenants from his first term are distancing themselves from Mr. Obama as 2016 approaches. The latest is none other than Vice President Joseph R. Biden, who usually boasts about the lack of daylight between the president and himself.

Rail construction to partially close H1 lanes

Associated Press

Construction of a guideway overpass for the Honolulu rail transit system will require partial closures on the H-1 freeway over about a year starting after the Thanksgiving weekend, officials said.