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February 14, 2016

Posts in "Transparency"

January 25, 2016

Will Obama Issue Executive Action on Cap-and-Trade?

Sen. Jim Inhofe, R-Okla., speaks with a reporter as he arrives for the Senate Republicans' policy lunch on Tuesday, March 24, 2015. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

Inhofe. (Photo By Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call)

The Obama administration is refusing to make his final year in office as uneventful as Republicans would like. In fact, lawmakers expect executive action on everything from terrorist detention to campaign finance to environmental issues.

One possibility is an executive action setting up a carbon cap-and-trade system, says Senate Environment and Public Works Chairman James M. Inhofe, R-Okla. President Barack Obama “has legacy things and he doesn’t have as much time as he would like to have,” Inhofe said in an interview. “Cap-and-trade and closing Gitmo, those are the things he wants to do.”

Full story

July 1, 2015

What a Good White House Pool Report Looks Like

“This is fun,” Caitlyn and Chloe Robinson told veteran White House reporter George E. Condon Jr., as relayed in Condon’s pool report on Wednesday, the first day tourists were able to take pictures (and selfies!) during a tour of 1600 Pennsylvania Ave.

Condon, a National Journal scribe, former bureau chief for Copley and one-time president of the White House Correspondents’ Association, knows how to be a pooler with panache. Some excerpts from his missive: Full story

June 2, 2015

White House: Congress Should Be Subject to FOIA (Updated)

Chaffetz has been pressing to improve the administration's response to FOIA requests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Chaffetz has been pressing to improve the administration’s response to FOIA requests. (Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

Updated 6:34 p.m. | FOIA for thee, not for me.

The White House wants Congress to subject itself to FOIA requests — but doesn’t want the same level of sunshine to apply to the West Wing. Full story

By Steven Dennis Posted at 3:01 p.m.

March 21, 2015

Obama Waves Off Third Term

President Barack Obama won’t serve a third term. That’s one takeaway from his visit Saturday to cheer his niece’s basketball team to victory in the NCAA tournament in College Park, Md., although Leslie Robinson didn’t actually see playing time in Princeton’s 80-70 victory over Green Bay.

During a break in the action with 4:24 left to play following a hard foul, Obama waved at the Princeton student body, fronted by a row of women with T-I-G-E-R-S painted on their tummies. They in turn chanted “Four more years! Four more years!” Full story

December 3, 2014

‘Looser’ Obama Riffs on Taxes, Trade, Regulations, Immigration, GOP

From left: Deutsche Bank Chief executive Jacques Brand, President and CEO of Convergys Andrea Ayers, President and CEO of Dell Michael Dell (3L), listen to U.S. President Barack Obama at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable. (Getty Images News)

From left: Deutsche Bank Chief executive Jacques Brand, President and CEO of Convergys Andrea Ayers, President and CEO of Dell Michael Dell, listen to President Barack Obama at the quarterly meeting of the Business Roundtable. (Getty Images News)

President Barack Obama is starting to open up, six years into the job.

“You get a little looser in your last two years in office,” he told CEOs at a meeting with the Business Roundtable.

Indeed, the remark itself would never have been made public under the old White House policy of kicking out the press for the all-important Q&As the president regularly has with business leaders and donors. Full story

September 22, 2014

How Much Will the War Against ISIS Cost? It Depends.


(Mark Wilson/Getty Images News)

The ISIS war might cost U.S. taxpayers tens of billions. Or it might not. At this point, the White House still isn’t releasing an approximate figure.

CQ Roll Call asked White House Press Secretary Josh Earnest at today’s press briefing if he had a ballpark estimate, and he didn’t have one handy. The Office of Management and Budget hasn’t provided one yet either — we’ve been asking.

An outside expert has estimated the war could cost $1.5 billion a month, about the cost of the NASA budget. It had been costing $7.5 million a day through August, before President Barack Obama dramatically ramped up the mission.

But the cost will also depend on Obama’s strategy, and how successful he is at courting the scores of coalition partners to shoulder either the burdens of military action, or providing cash.

“One way that countries can participate in this coalition and contribute to this broader effort is financially,” Earnest said Monday. Full story

July 24, 2014

Issa Offers White House a Deal on Simas

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

(Bill Clark/CQ Roll Call File Photo)

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa is offering to allow top White House political adviser David Simas to testify via deposition instead of in a congressional hearing.

With Issa planning a vote Friday to reject the administration’s claim of absolute immunity from congressional subpoena for Simas if he again fails to show up to honor the subpoena, Issa’s latest offer loosely tracks previous subpoena fights between House Democrats and the George W. Bush administration.

“The Committee would be willing to postpone tomorrow’s proceeding if the White House makes the same commitments to cooperate as the Bush Administration did previously,” Issa said in a letter  Thursday to White House Counsel W. Neil Eggleston.

In addition to the deposition, the White House must also commit to releasing internal documents Issa has sought about the creation of the political strategy office Simas has headed since January, and to answering subsequent questions in writing, Issa wrote. Issa said his offer must be accepted Thursday.

Issa’s letter came after Eggleston wrote him earlier Thursday, complaining that Issa had failed to make any specific allegation of wrongdoing, reasserting the White House’s claim of immunity and offering to cooperate further on providing information about the office — but not Simas.

Eggleston also noted that previous investigative efforts did not require enforcement of subpoenas of the president’s top advisers to testify at a public hearing.

That triggered Issa’s latest offer.

July 22, 2014

Bill Clinton Had Secret Meeting With Obama in Oval Office May 1

Obama and Clinton (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

Obama and Clinton (Official White House Photo by Pete Souza)

President Barack Obama met secretly with former President Bill Clinton in the Oval Office May 1 — a meeting revealed to the public months later by a photo released by Pete Souza, the official White House photographer.

The meeting wasn’t put on the president’s public schedule, and the White House hasn’t issued a readout.

It was actually the second secret meeting Obama had with a Clinton in May. Later that month, Obama had a secret lunch with Hillary Clinton, as revealed by a Tweet from People magazine.

At the time, then-White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended Obama’s ability to keep the public in the dark about his meetings with prominent people.

This reporter had been the pool reporter on duty and lodged a protest with Carney about the lack of transparency.

I’ve asked the White House to comment on why the public was not told of this meeting prior to the release of Souza’s picture, which appears to have been on July 11. That’s when Souza tweeted out photos for May and reporters noticed the picture.

I’ve also asked what Clinton and Obama discussed.

By Steven Dennis Posted at 12:41 p.m.

May 30, 2014

Secret Hillary Clinton Lunch Update: Jay Carney Doesn’t Tell All

Journalists argue they should be informed when the president had private meetings. Here was Obama's huddle with Clinton in 2009. (Photo via Flickr account)

Journalists argue they should be informed when Obama has private meetings. Here was Obama’s huddle with Clinton in 2009. (Photo via Flickr account)

Outgoing White House Press Secretary Jay Carney defended President Barack Obama’s right to meet secretly with people of his choosing, blaming the lack of transparency about a lunch with Hillary Rodham Clinton Thursday in part on timing.

Just after the president announced Carney is stepping down from his post, Carney told reporters he understood the interest in the lunch, but declined to detail the internal deliberations on why it was kept off of the public schedule. His only admission was the lunch was put together late.

As I noted in Thursday’s post on Obama’s secret lunch with Hillary Clinton, the White House included a similar lunch with Clinton on the public schedule in 2013.
Full story

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