Pentagon set to extend benefits to same-sex couples

The Pentagon on Wednesday announced its plan to extend benefits to same-sex spouses of uniformed military personnel and civilian employees, in response to the Supreme Court ruling in June forcing the federal government to recognize same-sex marriages in states where they are legal. The Defense Department will make spousal and family benefits available by September […]

GOP ramps up war on IRS

GOP ramps up war on IRS

Two Republican lawmakers on Tuesday demanded that an Internal Revenue Service official who triggered investigations into the tax agency’s scrutiny of conservative political groups turn over personal emails. Lois Lerner, former head of the IRS tax-exempt division, apologized in May for the extra review given to Tea Party and other conservative groups seeking exemptions under […]

Obama claims new limits against spying on Americans by America’s government

Obama claims new limits against spying on Americans by America’s government

President Barack Obama announced plans on Friday to limit sweeping U.S. government surveillance programs that have come under criticism since leaks by a former spy agency contractor, saying the United States “can and must be more transparent.” “Given the history of abuse by governments, it’s right to ask questions about surveillance, particularly as technology is […]

Pentagon cuts unpaid leave

Pentagon cuts unpaid leave

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced on Tuesday he was slashing the amount of unpaid leave that 650,000 civilian employees were ordered take this year to six days from 11 in an effort to limit the pain from across-the-board budget cuts. The decision means most civilian defense employees, who saw their pay effectively cut by 20 […]

Republicans push for political showdown on Obamacare

Republicans push for political showdown on Obamacare

With the Obama administration poised for a huge public education campaign on healthcare reform, Republicans and their allies are mobilizing a counter-offensive including town hall meetings, protests and media promotions to dissuade uninsured Americans from obtaining health coverage. Party officials, political analysts and lobbyists say the coming showdown will mark a new phase in the […]

Skepticism, concern from citizens in bankrupt Detroit

Skepticism, concern from citizens in bankrupt Detroit

Some Detroit residents voiced skepticism on Thursday that the former U.S. manufacturing powerhouse would emerge in better shape from its historic bankruptcy filing designed to fix the city’s financial crisis. Hours after learning Detroit filed the largest municipal bankruptcy in U.S. history, residents spoke of the stark realities that come with living in a financially […]

IRS watchdog taking a harder look at targeting of political groups

IRS watchdog taking a harder look at targeting of political groups

The Internal Revenue Service‘s inspector general said on Thursday he is expanding his probe of IRS treatment of political groups that applied for tax-exempt status to see if liberal groups were treated the same way as conservative ones. Under attack from Democrats over his earlier inquiries, IRS watchdog Russell George said there is new evidence […]

Obamacare struggles to meet critical deadlines

Obamacare struggles to meet critical deadlines

With time running out, U.S. officials are struggling to cope with the task of launching the new online health insurance exchanges at the heart of President Barack Obama’s signature health reforms by an October 1 deadline. The White House, and federal agencies including the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the Internal Revenue […]