Center wins first Pulitzer!

Black lung investigation honored

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GOP official forms Montana-focused super PAC

By Michael Beckel

Republican accountant registers a new Montana-based super PAC as the state prepares for a heated Senate contest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… filing — suggests the group will have a pro-Republican orientation. The Florida-based Watkins ranks among the GOP's most prominent campaign accountants. H …"

Super PAC leaders score perks from political donations

By Julie Patel

Super PAC founders enjoy fine dining, big salaries and a steady business for their consulting firms.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… public affairs shows and working with other advocacy groups and members of Congress. Hoagland added that costs for income tax, retirement, office and travel …"

Center wins first Pulitzer Prize

Winning investigation exposed the systematic denial of benefits to sufferers of black lung disease by lawyers and doctors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… g program, U.S. senators began crafting reform legislation, and members of Congress asked for a federal investigation. In addition, the Department of Labor an …"

Casinos and offshore companies battle for billions in online gambling push

By Nicholas Kusnetz

Congress, states and a rich mix of characters argue over regulation.

Excerpts from this story referencing "New Jersey":

"… nline poker operator, which so far has been denied a license to operate in New Jersey because of pending federal money-laundering charges against its founder. A …"

"… or close to 50 years, Nevada had gambling to itself. Even after 1976, when New Jersey legalized casinos in Atlantic City, the gambling industry was essentially …"

"… the practice, and some had already begun the process. An American market: New Jersey Even before the Justice Department revised its opinion, the offshore comp …"

"… for a legitimate way into the American market, with a particular focus on New Jersey. In early 2009, Joe Brennan Jr., who ran a small, Washington D.C.-based in …"

Mudslinging at the FEC over disclosure

By Julie Patel

Controversy brews at elections agency over whether a conservative group should reveal its donors.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… tee. “Providing public disclosure is a central part of the mission that Congress entrusted to the Commission,” they wrote later about the vote. In Janua …"

"… ow the law and judicial precedent.” “We enforce the law as written by Congress and construed by the courts, not as our colleague and her ‘reformer’ a …"

GAO report again finds black lung proposal supported by science

By Chris Hamby

A new government study supports reducing the dust limit workers encounter in mines; the industry is pushing back against stronger rules.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ment auditors reached in 2012, answering demands for a study by members of Congress concerned about the rule. And it’s the conclusion the auditors reached a …"

"… d to a request for comment about the study released this week. Members of Congress also have raised concerns about the rule, echoing industry complaints. In …"

"… laims of miners sick and dying of black lung. Since the report, members of Congress and the Labor Department have pushed for reforms to better protect workers …"

Center black lung series earns White House Correspondents’ Award

Center reporter Chris Hamby earned the Edgar A. Poe Award for 'Breathless and Burdened'; series also honored with James Aronson Award.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… k lung unit following the reports, and the Labor Department and members of Congress are pushing reform. The series has received other prestigious honors, incl …"

What's the point, WellPoint?

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: insurer's talk of rate increases may boomerang.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… t. When many of those policyholders complained to the media and members of Congress, it all but assured the passage a few weeks later of the Affordable Care A …"

McCutcheon ruling leaves room for legislative action

By Julie Patel

Court suggests regulatory moves in campaign finance decision that could mitigate potential corruption.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… e contributions, there was something of a silver lining — the court said Congress or the Federal Election Commission can take steps that might lessen the im …"

"… y Thursday after an agency meeting. But given the deep partisan divide in Congress and the FEC’s tendency to deadlock on even minor issues, chances that ne …"

"… and parties as they want. Individual contributions will still be capped. Congress could create restrictions on transfers among candidates and political comm …"

"… ence of a tiny minority of wealthy players,” they wrote. “We hope that Congress and our colleagues will take the Court’s suggestions seriously and join …"

States target toxic chemicals as Washington fails to act

By Ronnie Greene

In state capitols from Maine to Oregon, environmental advocates are filing bills to identify and ban noxious chemicals.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… t from the muddled environmental politicking of Washington, D.C. In 1976, Congress passed the Toxic Substances Control Act, a federal framework intended to s …"

"… way to go.” Yet in his state, as in others, the argument of waiting for Congress to act has grown stale. “I’ve been personally to the statehouse here …"

Wireless companies fight for their futures

By Allan Holmes

A rare auction of wireless spectrum may determine who controls your cell phone.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ket, respectively, according to the report. Competition or revenue? When Congress ordered the FCC in 2012 to hold the spectrum auction, the goals were to in …"

"… $2.8 million in 2013. The spending pays for lobbyists to visit members of Congress, or to urge them to call or write the agency. Sen. Chuck Schumer, D-N.Y., …"

"… bert Latta from Ohio, received among the largest campaign contributions in Congress from AT&T’s and Verizon’s PACs for the 2012 elections — a total …"

"… ary of commerce in the Clinton administration and a former director of the Congressional Budget Office, Congress’ economic research arm — published a  …"

Pro-transparency tea party activist trounced

By Michael Beckel

In primary, Rep. Adam Kinzinger defeats tea party foe who wants congressmen to display donors' corporate logos.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… s, he planned to introduce legislation that would have required members of Congress to clearly display on their websites the corporate logos of the political …"

"… paigns — like NASCAR drivers display sponsor logos on their cars. “If Congress truly wants to be transparent, they will readily pass such an act and put …"

Congressional investigations of FEC stalled

By Dave Levinthal

Congressional committees that promised to probe agency's security, staffing woes slow are to act.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ck of action comes at a critical time for the FEC, which this month warned Congress of threats to its computer networks that have "increased dramatically," an …"

"… s computer and IT needs. On Friday, the FEC submitted a budget request to Congress that mirrored the White House's proposed funding level, with Ravel, the vi …"

A world awash in a nuclear explosive?

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

Japan is leading a global move towards dangerous reactors fueled by a nuclear explosive, Thomas Cochran and other experts say.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ied in 2001, but Cochran has fought on for four decades, testifying before Congress, lecturing at universities, and appearing at debates nationwide. He often …"

"… s budget called for eliminating the $133 million program in fiscal 2014. Congress in January also capped spending on the Megaports program, providing enough …"

Exposing tragic myths of the world's 'greatest' health care system

By Wendell Potter

Commentary: world's 'best' health care system is failing many right here.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… y mess with it? Mandvi’s segment began with clips of several members of Congress warning that the Affordable Care Act most certainly will bring an end to o …"

CPAC activists urged to fight IRS

By Michael Beckel and Julie Patel

Tax agency called a 'cancer' and 'criminal enterprise' at conservative convention.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ng audits on its website. Last month, IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told Congress that anyone currently dealing with the IRS “should “be comfortable” …"

"… on, resigned in the wake of the scandal, and she has twice appeared before Congress, including once earlier this week, where she has invoked the Fifth Amendme …"

FEC wants millions in new cash to fix security woes

By Dave Levinthal

Elections agency tells Congress new staffing and hardware vital to prevent hacking as well as attacks.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… has been updated to reflect that the Federal Election Commission requested Congress allocate $1.51 million, not "more than $3 million" as originally reported, …"

"… T security enhancements.)  The Federal Election Commission is asking Congress for $1.51 million to address what it says are serious security breaches an …"

"… closures for political candidates and committees. The FEC acknowledges to Congress in a 41-page budget request it today submitted to Capitol Hill&n …"

"… deliver the FEC’s mission efficiently and effectively,” the FEC tells Congress. At the moment, it has no general counsel, associate general counsel for …"

White House seeks to chip away at severe Labor Department judge shortage, case backlog

By Jim Morris

The White House is requesting an additional $2 million from Congress for its overworked, understaffed Office of Administrative Law Judges.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… es on the heels of a Feb. 18 letter to the White House from six members of Congress, who complained of “untenable delays in adjudicating claims, such as cla …"

"… r to process cases and will make that decision once funding is provided by Congress. The Labor Department is committed to resolving compensation claims for wo …"

"… l techs and law clerks. Also, this is just the Administration's request to Congress, and already some are saying the entire Obama Administration budget is ‘ …"

Center's report on black lung wins prestigious Goldsmith Prize

Investigation detailed denials of black lung benefits to coal miners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ng program, U.S. senators began crafting reform legislation and members of Congress asked for a federal investigation. In addition, the Department of Labor re …"

Super PACs, nonprofits fueling GOP strife

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative super PACs, nonprofits spending millions to blast Republicans.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Florida":

"… this money is targeting candidates in special elections such as the one in Florida's 13th Congressional District, where Republican David Jolly faces off with …"

"… arold Simmons provided much of the organization's funding. Florida's 19th Congressional District race has also birthed a candidate-specific s …"

"… y promoting McConnell and Jolly, the Republican congressional candidate in Florida, or trashing Sink, Jolly's Democratic opponent. But on Friday, the Chambe …"

Nuclear Waste: Energy Department proposes to kill multi-billion dollar nuclear fuel plant

By Douglas Birch and R. Jeffrey Smith

The costliest U.S. nonproliferation program has been undone by huge cost overruns.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ar 2015 that the plant is no longer affordable within budget limits set by Congress. Initially advertised as a $1 billion program, the plant has already cons …"

Obama budget no windfall for beleaguered FEC

By Dave Levinthal

President's proposal provides the beleaguered agency with less money than it asked for.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… he first step in the protracted process of funding the federal government. Congress could yet increase — or decrease — the FEC's allotment for fiscal year …"

Natural gas boom advances with little study of public health effects, report finds

By Lisa Song and Jim Morris

As a drilling boom continues in Texas and beyond, a new study spotlights a missing ingredient: A full assessment of public health impact.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… In 2012, the Government Accountability Office — an investigative arm of Congress — reviewed more than 90 studies from government agencies, the industry a …"

Credit union overseer cozies up to industry execs

By Daniel Wagner

Credit union regulator Rick Metsger cozies up to industry execs at D.C. conference.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… two former credit union colleagues were in the audience, he called on for Congress to “modernize” laws affecting credit unions. National Credit Union Adm …"

"… edit unions. National Credit Union Administration board members have asked Congress to roll back limits on credit unions’ commercial lending and permit othe …"

Labor Department unveils changes to aid miners in black lung benefits cases

By Chris Hamby

Following the series Breathless and Burdened, U.S. officials unveil a series of initiatives to create a level playing field for coal miners.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ow to fit something in.” The department also has worked with members of Congress who are drafting reform legislation, Smith said. Lawmakers, including Rock …"

Next up: 'Citizens United v. IRS'?

By Dave Levinthal

Conservative group promises to 'pull out all the stops' to fight proposed nonprofit regulations.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… d further argues that the U.S. Treasury Department and IRS have “usurped Congress’ law making powers because there is simply no statuary authority” for …"

FEC to Claire McCaskill: Show us your money

By Dave Levinthal

Missouri Democrat says missing campaign finance report was lost in the mail

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… reports for years. The six-member FEC in December formally recommended to Congress that it change federal law to require senators to e-file their campaign fi …"

Retailers band together to fight health reform law

By Erin Quinn

Companies, trade groups band together to lobby on issues of common interest.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ployees.” E-Flex’s name regularly appears in testimony and letters to Congress and in comments filed with federal regulators. But the coalition has no of …"

"… raced such additional transparency practices. Lobbying reports filed with Congress provide a bit more information on the group’s finances. Members that con …"

"… erican Staffing Association are among those named in E-Flex’s reports to Congress, as are health insurer Aetna, the Food Marketing Institute and the Nationa …"

"… 000, said Craig Holman of Public Citizen, a public interest group. Before Congress passed reforms in 2007 in the wake of the Jack Abramoff lobbying scan …"

Netflix stacking deck on Capitol Hill

By Dave Levinthal

'House of Cards' distributor is accelerating its own political efforts in Washington.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… ndwidth, with slower connection speeds or extra fees. The White House and Congress have both been targets of Netflix's governmental influence efforts. "We'r …"

"… te, R-Va.; the leadership PAC of Sen. Pat Leahy, D-Vt.; and the Democratic Congressional Campaign Committee, Federal Election Commission records show. At the …"

"… campaign filings. And it's not just Netflix showing financial interest in Congress. A handful of Congressmen are also sweet on Netflix — when it comes to t …"

Newest senator not afraid to e-file

By Michael Beckel

Montana Democrat John Walsh will co-sponsor the Campaign Disclosure Parity Act and file his own financial reports electronically.

Excerpts from this story referencing "Congress":

"… arency, accountability and responsibility from those who represent them in Congress," Walsh said in a statement. Baucus was recently tapped by President Bara …"

"… key in the data. E-filing would save taxpayers about $500,000 a year, the Congressional Budget Office estimates. Walsh has already shown a propensity to vol …"