Christopher L. Rissetto

Subscribe to all posts by Christopher L. Rissetto

Raising Revenue Without Taxes: Republicans introduce the Energy Production and Project Delivery Act of 2013

In a move to coalesce Republican energy demands, and move the energy debate forward, on February 27, Senator David Vitter (R-LA) and Representative Rob Bishop (R-UT-01) stated that they would introduce the Energy Production and Project Delivery Act of 2013. The bill is intended to address three pressing policies: (1) Energy: by “unleashing domestic energy resources;” … Continue Reading

Sequestration: Steamrolling Grants for Renewable Energy?

The Sequestration steamroller is set to hit March 1, 2013 and we continue to monitor negotiations between the White House and Congress. The impact for Federal Fiscal Year 2013 will be compressed, given that the fiscal year is almost one-half over. While final spending decisions are not yet made, it is clear that federal grant … Continue Reading

This time I am serious…maybe. Washington lurches to yet another potential deadline on sequestration.

Sequestration. It’s a process in Washington where thoughtful decisions on spending and taxation priorities are being replaced with last minute politicking, grandstanding, and eventual 11th hour deal-making. The latest showdown revolves around the March 1st deadline agreed to by Congress and the President in the budget deal negotiated in December (Public Law 112-240). That is … Continue Reading

Playing On Uncle Sam’s Time: Federal Grant Sanctions Triggered By Game Playing Employees

This post was also written by Stephanie E. Giese. In the Age of Solyndra, adherence to Federal grant requirements is a necessity like never before. Concerns with transparency, misuse of Federal money, program failures, and political embarrassment, all combine to maximize the need for a thorough understanding of grant terms and requirements, and what to do when compliance looks … Continue Reading

Sequestration 2013: Contractors, Beware the Kalends of March

As many inside the Beltway know, the Budget Control Act of 2011 imposes automatic and wide-reaching cuts if the U.S. government fails to reach an agreement on fiscal policy (commonly known as sequestration). Unless Congress acts, the President is required to order cuts of approximately $85 billion from the federal budget on March 1, 2013. … Continue Reading

The President’s proposal on guns: More or less than meets the eye?

In response to the tragic shootings in Newtown, Connecticut, President Obama has proposed 23 Executive Actions to deal with gun violence. If fully enacted, these proposals would address gun violence by providing additional funds for security measures at schools; tightening background checks for gun purchases, including requiring checks for gun transactions conducted by private sellers; … Continue Reading

If you Enjoyed the Fiscal Cliff, then You will Love the Sequel(s)

This post was also written by Robert Helland and Gunjan Talati. Congress and the Obama Administration have driven the economy from the “Fiscal Cliff,” with the last-minute tax and spending deal that is expected to be signed into law. But it’s a Pyrrhic victory: the battle over taxes and spending will go on (and on) … Continue Reading

Sequestration: From Remote Possibility to Inevitable

This post was also written by Gunjan Talati and Robert Helland. While the world did not end Friday, December 21, 2012, as some had feared, last Friday still struck terror in the hearts of many government contractors. That’s because last Friday, lawmakers and the president embarked on their recesses, leaving the budget talks unresolved, and … Continue Reading

2012 Elections Results and After: Congressional Actions Anticipated

As the last outstanding Congressional races are being decided, we note what has not changed as a result of the 2012 elections. For one thing, the Democrats still control the White House and Senate and the Republicans still control the House of Representatives. For another, none of the issues facing Congress and the President – … Continue Reading

Second Circuit Holds that Proper Measure of FCA Damages for Grant Recipient is the Full Amount of the Grant

This post was also written by Andrew C. Bernasconi and Nathan R. Fennessy. In a troubling decision that could have significant implications for grant recipients, the Second Circuit recently held that the proper measure of damages in a False Claims Act (“FCA”) case against a grant recipient is the full amount of the grant, regardless of … Continue Reading

“On the brink of the “Fiscal Cliff,” we get a better idea of what life might be like on January 2, 2013″

This post was also written by Gunjan Talati. As the presidential and congressional campaigns continue toward their conclusion on Election Day, November 6, there is another – perhaps more compelling – date to consider: January 2, 2013. That is the date that massive federal spending cuts mandated under the “sequestration” process are expected to begin. The combination … Continue Reading

Van Hollen v. FEC Follow-up: Decision to Defend Campaign Finance Regulation Shows Split within FEC

Two weeks ago we wrote about Rep. Van Hollen (D-MD) challenging the FEC’s electioneering communication disclosure provisions and the appellate court’s decision to refer the matter to the FEC. In response, the FEC yesterday filed a status report with the District Court for the District of Columbia, indicating that it would not pursue further rulemaking … Continue Reading

Federal Court of Appeals: Political Groups May Maintain Donor Information Secret, For Now

Yet another wrinkle has developed in the fabric of campaign finance reform, this time favoring the non-disclosure of donor information by groups responsible for “electioneering communications.” In a per curiam decision, the three-judge panel of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit recently reversed a lower court decision that could have … Continue Reading

Whistle While You Work: The Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012

On September 13, 2012, Rep. Jackie Speier (D-CA), along with Rep. Todd Platts (R-PA), introduced the Non-Federal Employee Whistleblower Protection Act of 2012 (H.R. 6406). This legislation is designed to reduce fraud within the government and save taxpayer dollars by expanding the whistleblower-protections covering to federal contractors, subcontractors and grantees. In its final report issued … Continue Reading

Congress And The Fiscal Cliff: Important Issues To Be Faced

America’s economy faces the returning 112th Congress in September, and later in the post-election Lame Duck. Budget and key policy legislation issues must be addressed if there is any hope of avoiding massive automatic budget reductions. The need to seek beneficial compromise is understood by all Members. Can this be accomplished? Please click here to … Continue Reading

Montana’s Lesson of the Day: Corporations Are People, Too

By refusing to hear arguments over whether a state can limit campaign spending by corporations, the Supreme Court refused to reconsider its decision in Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission on Monday. In a 5-4 ruling, the court struck down a century-old Montana ban on corporate political money. By doing so, the high court held … Continue Reading

Money For Nothing: Sen. Coburn’s Report on $70 Billion Available Federal Grant Dollars

The Public Policy & Infrastructure practice has often discussed the availability of unused or “returned” grant funds. This means that often not all grant funds are fully obligated (or obligated at all because of various problems in the award process); some grant amounts must also be “returned” because of eligibility and allowability decisions, and for … Continue Reading

Time to Look to Washington, D.C.: Political and Regulatory Expectations for the 112th Congress, the Lame Duck Session, and Beyond

Notwithstanding popular perceptions, Congress and Federal agencies are considering, and could decide, a number of budget, funding, and regulatory matters within the next few months. Further, for at least one of the critical time periods for possible action, Members (and agency officials) may be focused on achieving the ends of certain partisan goals. One can … Continue Reading

Deadline approaching for key Congressional action on Temporary Tariff Reductions

Key committees in Congress have announced that they will consider requests from Members to temporarily reduce or suspend tariffs on certain imported products as part of a Miscellaneous Tariff Bill (“MTB”) that is expected to be considered by Congress later this year. Congress regularly takes up and passes MTBs as an effort to boost the … Continue Reading

Deadline Fast Approaching To Compete for $150 Million in U.S. Department of Energy Advanced Research Project Agency Awards

This post was also written by Henry R. King and Stephanie E. Giese. The first of several mandatory submission deadlines to compete for substantial funding under the recently announced Advanced Research Project Agency-Energy (“ARPA-E”) Open Funding Opportunity Announcement (the “Open FOA”) No. DE-FOA-0000670 is at the end of this month. The ARPA-E will fund up to $150 … Continue Reading

Don’t Miss Your Opportunity to Comment on OMB’s Government-Wide Grant and Cooperative Agreement Reforms

This post was also written by Stephanie E. Giese. The Office of Management and Budget (“OMB”) recently proposed government-wide reforms to federal policies that could significantly impact organizations (other than for-profit organizations) performing federal grants and cooperative agreements. See Reform of Federal Policies Relating to Grants and Cooperative Agreements; Cost Principles and Administrative Requirements (including the … Continue Reading

A Road to Nowhere? Will Congress ever send a long-term transportation funding bill to the President’s desk?

The recent activity in the House of Representatives on a $260 billion, five-year transportation authorization bill, raises hope that Congress would finally enact a long-delayed successor to the SAFETEA-LU surface transportation law. This would be a relief to all those who seek a long-term source of funding to help repair and replace the nation’s deteriorating … Continue Reading

Get ready for a whole new round of subpoenas from Capitol Hill. House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Issa promises to put the grant award process in the spotlight.

Numerous press reports indicate that House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-CA-41) intends a broad investigation of the federal grant and loan application process, in the wake of the recent bankruptcy of the solar company, Solyndra. Up until now, the primary committee in the House investigating and holding hearings on the decision to … Continue Reading