Sunrise (4/14/11)

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ISSA SAYS TRANSPARENCY SITES WILL STAY ONLINE

Federal News Radio: “Congressman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, said Wednesday the $27 million cut to the E-Government Fund doesn’t have to be the end of the sites such as Data.gov, USAspending.gov and many others. … “It was one of the things I begged my partners on the other side of the aisle to come back and say there is a price to pay to keep this up,” Issa said during a panel discussion hosted by the Association of Government Accountants. “We will find a way, and this is a personal pledge, to make sure they are not shutdown. The specific funding goes away but reprogramming authority would still be available. Our view is on a case-by-case basis we will be able to keep them open.” … Sources told Federal News Radio in March the Office of Management and Budget is making contingency plans to begin taking some of the public websites offline as soon as late May. At that time, the House had passed a budget that included only $2 million in E-Government funding. The House raised the E-Gov Fund to $17 million, but in the latest continuing resolution under consideration, reduced it to $8 million.”

NUCLEAR REGULATOR LETS INDUSTRY WRITE RULES

ProPublica: “In the fall of 2001, inspectors with the Nuclear Regulatory Commission were so concerned about possible corrosion at Ohio’s Davis Besse Nuclear Power Station that they prepared an emergency order to shut it down for inspection. But, according to a report from the NRC inspector general, senior officials at the agency held off – in part because they did not want to hurt the plant’s bottom line. … When workers finally checked the reactor in February of 2002, they made an astonishing finding: Corrosive fluid from overhead pipes had eaten a football-sized hole in the reactor vessel’s steel side. The only thing preventing a leak of radioactive coolant was a pencil-thin layer of stainless steel. … While the Davis Besse case focuses on singular allegations of influence, critics say the industry routinely exercises its muscle in a more pervasive way: through contributions to NRC regulatory guides that advise nuclear companies about how to best follow the agency’s rules. … Large parts of the guides, issued by NRC, incorporate or endorse material written by the industry’s trade group, the Nuclear Energy Institute. The guides – containing detailed technical procedures and reference materials – are a key part of NRC’s oversight. They provide the nuts and bolts advice that nuclear operators follow to stay in compliance but often refer to even more detailed industry guides.”

LOBBYING FIRMS HIRE FINANCIAL REVOLVERS

Roll Call: “With Wall Street reform still a hot topic on Capitol Hill, former Hill staffers with finance backgrounds are being snapped up by K Street. … Quinn Gillespie & Associates announced this week that it had hired Joe Dagher, a former legislative aide for Sen. Bob Corker (R-Tenn.) on the Banking Committee. Dagher worked on the financial regulatory law, as well as an automakers assistance package and the bank bailout of 2008. … Venn Strategies has scooped up Bryan Tackett as a senior associate. Tackett was legislative director at the lobbying firm 3 Click Solutions, but he got his start as an intern for Rep. Jared Polis (D-Colo.). Tackett will focus on tax, budget, financial services and health care issues.”

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