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By Matt Kibbe
The short-term deal will assure long-term overspending
Independent voices from the The Washington Times Communities
Topic - Darrell Issa
Even as it is under fire for lack of accomplishments, the House struck a bipartisan note Thursday, easily passing a bill designed to crack down on bogus patent lawsuits that lawmakers say are sapping innovation.
The House's top investigator on Friday kicked off series of field hearings on Obamacare's troubled rollout, stopping by North Carolina for a session on premium costs before heading to Georgia, Texas and Arizona.
Top House Republicans are demanding are seeking an investigation into new reports that the Census Bureau manipulated surveys that showed a steep drop in the U.S. unemployment rate shortly before the 2012 presidential election, even as the bureau said a key suspect in the matter left the bureau more than two years ago.
The Republican chairman of the House Ways and Means Committee on Friday demanded Obamacare enrollment figures from the Obama administration, citing reports that federal officials and contractors discussed the trickle of people gaining coverage under the law as early as Oct. 1, the first day the web-based insurance markets went live.
Jeffrey Zients, the management expert and former top White House budget aide tapped by President Obama to help fix the federal Obamacare website, said Friday his repair team is still on track to have the online portal working smoothly for the "vast majority of users" by the end of this month.
The House's top investigator released Obamacare meeting notes late Thursday that suggest only six people were able to enroll in coverage through a federal web portal on its launch date, Oct. 1.
House Republicans suspect the White House has more Obamacare data than they're letting on, a tug-of-war that's playing out amid new fears Medicaid enrollment could far outpace requests for private insurance under President Obama's program.
The House's top investigators want to know if the Obama administration made a political decision to get rid of an online tool that would have allowed uninsured Americans to comparison-shop among private health plans on the federal Obamacare website before registering for an account.
Republicans on Capitol Hill are demanding that Health and Human Service head Kathleen Sebelius answer for the massive glitches that have shadowed the Obamacare rollout — even as the White House still tries to downplay the problems.
Three members of Congress are calling for a public hearing to look into both how security clearances are awarded and base security following Monday's mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that left 12 victims and the shooter dead.
A CIA employee who refused to sign a non-disclosure agreement barring him from discussing the Sept. 11, 2012 terrorist attack in Benghazi, Libya, has been suspended as a result and forced to hire legal counsel, according to a top House lawmaker.
The House's top investigator accused a prominent Washington law and lobbying firm of trying to meddle with Congress's investigation into transparency when one of the company's lobbyists pleaded that lawmakers not ask their client any questions at a hearing Tuesday.
The Hill's annual list of the wealthiest members of Congress — with a comparison to their home districts' wealth.
House oversight committee Chairman Darrell Issa sent a letter Thursday asking Victoria Nuland, who at the time was the State Department's spokeswoman, who she meant when she said her "building leadership" wanted to see changes to the administration's talking points following the Benghazi terrorist attack last year.
House Republicans on Friday accused Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew of obstructing their investigation into the IRS's targeting of tea party and conservative groups, and issued subpoenas for more agency documents.
"This bill does one thing very well — it puts a little bit of teeth finally back into what trolls use as a tool - file a lawsuit, collect an amount of money," said Rep. Darrell Issa, a California Republican who made a personal fortune from a car alarm business that he said has involved having to defend patents.
"This is the biggest attack on the independent inventor in the 25 years I've been a member of Congress," he said.