shutdown

Want to Find Out Whether a Lawmaker is Job Hunting? Good Luck

Most lawmakers shopping around for high-paying jobs outside of Congress don’t publicly reveal who their next employers may be. Heading into the 2018 election, 73 House members and eight senators either were serving their last weeks or already gone. A couple dozen more came on the job market after losing their elections. Only one, ex-Sen. Jeff Flake (R-Airz.), filed a public disclosure form.

Loss of USDA Funds for Distribution Threatens Food Bank Aid

The Agriculture Department will continue funding a food assistance program during the government shutdown, but it won’t help pay for food banks to distribute that food, a stance one group says will hurt the program’s effectiveness. “Food banks are still distributing food, but are running up a balance sheet,” Carrie Calvert, managing director of government relations at Feeding America, said in an interview. The Chicago-based group represents a nationwide network of food banks.

Democrats’ Bill Would Offer $5 Million-Per-Candidate Bonanza

House Democrats, who promised to get big money out of politics, are preparing to vote on providing public financing for congressional races, a move that could pump millions of dollars of taxpayer money into those contests.

IRS Shutdown Could Cost Those Who Bought Obamacare Market Plans

Some of the people who bought health insurance plans on Obamacare’s individual market this year may end up paying a steep price for the ongoing government shutdown. Industry researchers and lawmakers are warning some Americans could face much-steeper insurance bills and may cancel their coverage if the IRS can’t finish processing the paperwork for the federal tax credits they’re slated to receive in time.

(Bloomberg) — Defense Logistics Agency suspends Anham FZCO, Dubai, and Anham USA, after Justice Dept indictment of officials in November.
  • Anham is largest DLA supplier of “Subsistence Prime Vendor” providing food services to troops in Iraq and Afghanistan; Afghanistan contract is worth $8b
  • NOTE: Justice Dept charged three former company officials for their roles in a scheme to defraud U.S. military contracts in Afghanistan, engaging in illegal commerce in Iran, and laundering money internationally; Special Inspector General for Afghanistan Reconstruction John Sopko assisted DOJ
  • DLA spokesman Pat Mackin says in emailed statement that DLA suspended company from its two current contracts but agency invoked a “compelling need” national security exemption that allows them to continue feeding and sustaining U.S. troops until new contractors take over
  • For Iraq contract, KGL Food Services WLL, won award in December and will take over in next few months, Mackin says
  • For Afghanistan, DLA is assessing bids for a new contract estimated in billions of dollars that will be awarded in next two months
    • Anham is not allowed to bid on the new work, he says
  • Anham in emailed statement says: “we are disappointed by this action, which is based on years-old alleged conduct by individuals who no longer work for Anham or any of its subcontractors”
    • “Given these issues, we are engaging” with DLA “about a resolution as soon as possible and are hopeful we will reach one”: Anham
    • DLA “action does not affect our ability to meet our existing contracts,” and  the officials indicted by the Justice Dept had left the company when the charges were brought
  • Earlier: Executives Committed $8 Billion Troop Supply Fraud, DOJ Says

(Updates  with statement from Anham saying officials had left company at the time they were charged.)

College Accreditation Red Tape Priority for New Education Rules

A senior Education Department official is making it a top priority to finish regulations on accreditor and college approval by a crucial Nov. 1 deadline, one the department has missed before. Negotiations on a full plate of regulations start this week with talks on accreditation, standards for colleges, innovation, grants for teachers, distance learning, and religious schools.

Record Number of Women Take Lead as Committee Staff Bosses

Kathy Dedrick first learned her way around Capitol Hill in a congressional page’s navy blue blazer. More than 25 years later, Dedrick is in charge of hiring, firing, and managing dozens of majority-party staffers at the Transportation and Infrastructure Committee. She’s among seven women, the most ever, who oversee operations at more than a third of House standing committees in the 116th Congress.