New Posts

Feb 8, 2016

Top 400 Taxpayers See Tax Rates Rise, But There’s More to the Story

As Americans were gathering party supplies to greet the New Year, the Internal Revenue Service released their annual report of cumulative tax data reported on the 400 tax r...

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Feb 4, 2016

Chlorine Bleach Plants Needlessly Endanger 63 Million Americans

Chlorine bleach plants across the U.S. put millions of Americans in danger of a chlorine gas release, a substance so toxic it has been used as a chemical weapon. Greenpeace’s new repo...

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Jan 25, 2016

U.S. Industrial Facilities Reported Fewer Toxic Releases in 2014

The Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) data for 2014 is now available. The good news: total toxic releases by reporting facilities decreased by nearly six percent from 2013 levels. Howe...

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Jan 22, 2016

Methane Causes Climate Change. Here's How the President Plans to Cut Emissions by 40-45 Percent.

  UPDATE (Jan. 22, 2016): Today, the Bureau of Land Management (BLM) released its proposed rule to reduce methane emissions...

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White House At Odds With House on Weapons Cancellations

It's an old battle: executive branch expertise on how it thinks taxpayer dollars should be spent versus the congressional power of the purse. This story plays out often in the yearly authorization and appropriations bills for the Department of Defense (DOD). This year is not any different as a White House statement from yesterday makes clear.

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The House Armed Services Committee Proposes Weakening Contractor Compensation Cap

The House committee in charge of overseeing the Department of Defense and drafting the National Defense Authorization Act has answered the White House’s call to address the ever-increasing contractor compensation cap. But the House Armed Services Committee is serving up something far weaker than what the White House wants and a substantial reversal from the status quo. Namely it would exempt a large universe of contractors that are subject to the cap currently.

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Are Defense Department Civilians Behind the DOD’s Spending Problem? Not So Much

On June 3, 25 defense analysts from several think tanks announced that there are three areas of defense reform consensus:

  • Closing down unnecessary military bases and facilities
  • Reforming military compensation
  • Shrinking the number of Department of Defense (DOD) civilian employees

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As Austerity Shrinks Government Budgets, Contractor CEO Pay and Public Costs Set to Rise

In the midst of shrinking federal spending on infrastructure, scientific research, Head Start, and other government programs, the costs of government contractor executives' salaries and compensation are set to soar unless Congress takes action. This is another example of how current government policies transfer resources to the wealthy and away from the programs that broadly support and grow a vibrant middle class.

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Federal Spending Needs More Transparency: The DATA Act and Reform

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee unveiled its discussion draft of the Digital Accountability and Transparency Act of 2013 on May 10. This legislation, more commonly known as the DATA Act, is intended to bring unprecedented public transparency to federal spending by requiring more spending data to be published online, in a standardized format, and in a searchable, downloadable database.

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Senate Passes Amendments to Shed Light on Contractor Misbehavior

The Senate has approved several amendments to the National Defense Authorization Act (S. 3254), which will bring greater transparency and accountability to federal contracting. The amendments, which OMB Watch endorsed, would strengthen whistleblower protections for federal contractors and grantees, modeled after the protections pioneered in the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act of 2009. 

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GAO: New Contractor ID System Needed

When the federal government is handing out thousands of contracts to more than half a million contractors, it's important to have a robust system for tracking the companies that receive each contract. Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued a report on the federal government's use of a private, proprietary corporate identification system to track federal contractors and award recipients. Because corporations are continually acquiring new firms and/or merging with others, it is often difficult to keep track of which companies are actually responsible for the work the government has contracted out. The report recommended the government adopt a new approach to tracking this information.

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Resources & Research

Living in the Shadow of Danger: Poverty, Race, and Unequal Chemical Facility Hazards

People of color and people living in poverty, especially poor children of color, are significantly more likely...

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A Tale of Two Retirements: One for CEOs and One for the Rest of Us

The 100 largest CEO retirement funds are worth a combined $4.9 billion, equal to the entire retirement account savings of 41 percent of American fam...

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