Budget, Finance & Taxes

The Pentagon Spent Nearly $1 Billion on an Audit — And Failed

The Defense Department failed its first-ever audit as investigators found weak information technology security that could endanger weapon inventories and equipment mislabeled in far-flung warehouses.

Auditors found no evidence of fraud in the review of finances that Congress required, even as they flagged a laundry list of problems, including uncontrolled access to computer systems and listing functioning rocket motors as out-of-order, according to Pentagon Comptroller David Norquist.

McCarthy Intervenes for Bus Company Targeted by Spending Bill

House Majority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-Calif.) intervened in House-Senate spending bill negotiations to exclude a bus manufacturer in his district from a proposed funding restriction, according to two people familiar with the negotiations.

Nine NGA Contracts Totaling $830M to Be Competed in FY 2019

The National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA) on Oct. 31 updated its business opportunities forecast for fiscal 2019.

The nine opportunities with projected request for proposals (RFP) releases this fiscal year could range in total value from about $460 million to more than $830 million.

Amazon Could Boost Washington Influence With Addition of Hub

Placing one of its new headquarters in northern Virginia would expand an already significant inside-the-Beltway presence for Amazon.com Inc., which has more than a dozen federal lobbying firms working on its behalf and whose chief executive, Jeff Bezos, owns The Washington Post.

Chao Defying Law on Self-Driving Auto Test Funds, Lawmakers Say

Transportation Secretary Elaine Chao ignored explicit congressional direction by shutting down a program to test self-driving vehicle technology at a handful of government-designated proving grounds, key lawmakers from both chambers say.

Pentagon Girds for Audit Backlash That May Echo $435 Hammer Era

The results of the Pentagon’s first-ever audit could generate public backlash against boosting defense spending, according to Comptroller David Norquist.

After years of congressional and public criticism, the Defense Department is conducting an audit of its more than $2.4 trillion in assets. The audit findings will be released on Nov.15 or Nov. 16, Norquist said.

Shadow Parties’ Dominate Campaign Spending in Midterms

“Shadow parties,” outside groups allied with Democratic and Republican leaders, are eclipsing traditional political parties, according to two new studies of campaign spending in the 2018 midterm elections.

The reason is simple: groups not formally tied to candidates can raise more money under current campaign finance rules.

Outside Groups Pour $10 Million a Week Into Key Senate Races

With less than a month until Election Day, super political action committees and other outside groups are spending nearly $10 million per week on campaign ads and other efforts to mobilize voters in the states where control of the Senate will be decided.

Trump Boasts of ‘Record’ Savings From Deregulation

President Donald Trump boasted today that his administration had “set a record” for removing costly, unnecessary regulations—a claim disputed by critics who said the White House wildly exaggerated savings and overlooked the benefits of many rules.

One of the reasons the economy is so strong is that businesses are not hampered by the “ridiculous regulations” in place, particularly Environmental Protection Agency rules, Trump said at an Oval Office meeting with Cabinet secretaries and staff to discuss his administration’s regulatory agenda.

New No.1 Secret-Money Spender Wants to Flip Senate for Democrats

Buying $20 million in advertising in one short month was enough to make a group backing Democratic candidates the new No. 1 among campaign bankrollers that keep their money sources secret.

The Democratic-allied nonprofit Majority Forward has bought nearly $30 million worth of campaign ads this year, surpassing similar groups helping Republicans.