By John Solomon
How the government's punishing of the exposure of official wrongdoing can linger for years
Independent voices from the TWT Communities
Republicans are raising questions about the timing and costs of President Obama's decision to bypass Congress and designate five additional national monuments, coming as it does amid dire warnings of the most recent round of budget cuts, including the National Park Service.
An effort in Congress to eliminate funding and scrap the proposed design for a national memorial honoring President Dwight D. Eisenhower drew strong opposition Friday from the American Institute of Architects, which said lawmakers should not censor an architectural work.
The Obama administration is putting attention-getting Pentagon projects on the chopping block in a bid to pressure Congress into making a deal that avoids $46 billion in military budget cuts March 1, analysts and congressional officials say.
President Obama's pick of Sally Jewell as his new interior secretary immediately drew praise from the environmental community and even some in the oil and gas sector.
When Dan Bell drives through his 35,000-acre cattle ranch, he speaks of the hurdles that the Border Patrol faces in his rolling green hills of oak and mesquite trees — the hours it takes to drive to some places, the wilderness areas that are generally off-limits to motorized vehicles, the environmental reviews required to extend a dirt road.
Interior Secretary Kenneth L. Salazar placed a 20-year moratorium Monday on new uranium mining claims in the Grand Canyon region over the objections of Western Republicans, who insisted the ban would deliver an unnecessary blow to the Northern Arizona economy.
The Grand Canyon is 277 miles long, 18 miles wide and a mile deep, which is roughly the size of the gap between the Obama administration and Western Republicans on the issue of uranium mining in Northern Arizona.
The House passed a measure Wednesday to revive a school-voucher program for the District of Columbia despite opposition from the mayor, the District's congressional delegate, teachers and the White House.
The tennis court at former President Jimmy Carter's private home is swept twice a day, his pool is cleaned daily and his grass cut, his flower beds weeded and his windows washed on a regular basis — all at taxpayers' expense.
With Congress split this year between Republicans and Democrats, the GOP may not be able to pass much of its repeal agenda, but it still expects to play a major role in shaping government through hearings and investigations into much of what the Obama administration has done.
It wasn't a very merry Christmas for America's motorists, as pump prices averaged $3 per gallon nationwide for the first time since 2008. President Obama's holiday gift to car and truck owners - new proposals to clamp down on domestic oil drilling and ratchet up refining costs - will only make matters worse in the years ahead.
With little fanfare earlier this month, the House passed a commending resolution recognizing the University of Wisconsin's football team for making it to the Rose Bowl. But if the team wins, it's likely to have to go without a pat on the back from the country's 435 House members — at least as far as official recognition goes.
Environmental red tape has at times ensnared the U.S. Border Patrol's efforts to gain control of parts of the U.S.-Mexico border, according to a draft government report that found agents sometimes take a back seat to protecting endangered species in the Southwest's national parks and forests.
Sen. David Vitter of Louisiana, the highest-ranking Republican on the Environment and Public Works Committee, and Rep. Rob Bishop, a Utah Republican who is chairman of the public lands and environmental regulation subcommittee, said they were disappointed that Mr. Obama would circumvent the more open public-land designation process to commit both federal and private lands for national monuments.
"There is a right way to designate federal lands and there is a wrong way. Executive fiat is unquestionably the wrong way and is an abuse of executive privilege," Mr. Bishop said.