Senate leaders decided to scrap a 1,900-page omnibus spending bill that contained $8 billion in home state spending projects – otherwise known as earmarks, pet projects, or "pork." Government spending and the deficit became an issue in the midterm election, and lawmakers are keenly aware of voter anger about large, catch-all bills that are quickly passed. The following senators have been ranked by the monetary value of earmarks they backed, whether alone or with others, in the now-scuttled omnibus spending bill. The earmark process became more transparent with the 2006 Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act, which required creation of a database of all government spending. The watchdog group Taxpayers for Common Sense used the database to compile this ranking. Sen. Tom Coburn (R) of Oklahoma, who co-sponsored the legislation, also has a list of the disclosed earmarks in the omnibus bill on his website. *This is the amount requested both alone and with other members of Congress.
Army Pfc. Bradley Manning is not in solitary confinement but is being held alone in a cell, the Pentagon says. He is suspected of stealing classified US documents and giving them to WikiLeaks.
WikiLeaks founder Julian Assange seems to be on just about everyone's hit list in Washington. But there are some who call for restraint, saying the legal issues are murky at best.
Some see ideals of tea party movement at play in Senate, after a huge spending bill loaded with earmarks is scuttled after GOP lawmakers thought twice about it.
The $7.2 billion from the estate of philanthropist Jeffry Picower represents the largest forfeiture in US history. So far, $9.8 billion has been collected on behalf of Bernard Madoff victims – nearly half the $20 billion that investors lost.
The tax cut deal that President Obama signed Friday costs $858 billion, making the cause of deficit reduction that much more challenging. But deficit hawks still see some hopeful signs.
Deficit hawks and watchdog groups see Thursday's demise of an omnibus spending bill in the Senate as a turning point. A critical mass of lawmakers, they say, are committed to an earmark ban.
Tiger Woods had one of his worst year's on the golf course, but was Tiger Woods plight (including his divorce) deserving of the title 'Sports Story of the Year'?
WikiLeaks' Julian Assange claimed Friday that US prosecutors are carrying out a secretive grand-jury probe into WikiLeaks activities.
Though many House Democrats balked at extending Bush-era tax cuts, House lawmakers late Thursday approved the $858 billion tax cut deal intact, with 139 Democrats and 138 Republicans.
TARP final cost to US taxpayers is expected to be lower than earlier projections, according to Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner. Bailed-out companies, such as AIG and GM, have already begun to pay back TARP funds.
Grim Sleeper photos released: for over 20 years, the LAPD had sought a Los Angeles serial killer, dubbed the Grim Sleeper. After arresting their prime suspect, Lonnie Franklin Jr., the department is sharing 180 photos of possible victims in the hope that the public will be able to identify some of them.
A study by the Jet Propulsion Laboratory shows that the Baja earthquake in April acted in unexpected ways. It also could set off another major quake in three to 30 years.
The Chicago Board of Election Commissioners must decide if Rahm Emanuel qualifies as a resident and can run to succeed Mayor Richard M. Daley. A three-day hearing on the topic yielded all sorts of questions and answers. Here's a sampling of those both for and against his run.
Obama’s citing of ‘fragile but reversible progress’ in his review of the war in Afghanistan is a signal to all the parties involved, including Americans, that the US withdrawal may go slowly.
Kwame Kilpatrick, the former Detroit mayor now in jail for violating probation in a Michigan case, is now facing new federal charges, along with his father Bernard. Federal prosecutors say Kwame Kilpatrick and other associates abused the public trust.
Not only are sex offenders finding work as teachers, they are getting recommendations from school officials eager for them to move elsewhere. A GAO report examines 15 case studies.
Opposition to the war in Afghanistan has Obama walking on eggshells with his Democratic base.
House Democratic leaders set very tight rules for debate of the Obama tax deal Thursday, and rank-and-file Democrats revolted. Their main frustration now: the estate tax.