Tag Archives: Public Policy & Infrastructure

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

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

ISDA determines Credit Event occurred in Greece

This post was also written by Georgia Quenby. The EMEA Determinations Committee of the International Swaps and Derivatives Association (ISDA) met on Friday last week (9 March) to discuss the Greek debt swap deal and to determine whether the deal amounts to a “Restructuring Credit Event”, thus triggering settlement under credit default swaps (CDS) referencing … 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

Your Monthly Threat of Government Shutdown?

Those of us who follow the Hill are beginning to feel like Bill Murray’s character in Groundhog Day: waking to news of another potential shutdown, we wonder if we will spend the next 13 months until November 2012 in a state of permanent impending doom. Most remember the partisan bickering over spending levels that almost … Continue Reading

President Obama’s jobs plan proposes spending on infrastructure. What will Congress do?

Earlier this month, President Obama proposed a $447 billion package of tax cuts and new spending to help the economy. In a joint session to Congress, the President laid out the terms of his proposal, which includes over $100 million for upgrading highways; mass transit; rail, both freight and intercity; aviation; schools; and local neighborhoods … Continue Reading

Brother, can you spare a dime? With Members of the “Super Committee” appointed, work begins in earnest to find $1.2 to $1.5 trillion in cuts to the federal debt

As we noted last week, the $900 million cut from the federal budget to avoid default of the nation’s debt obligations is only just the beginning. The Budget Control Act of 2011 (“Act”) guarantees that another $1.2 to $1.5 trillion will be cut from the federal debt over the next ten years (Public Law 112-35). … Continue Reading
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