Here is Wednesday’s look at the week’s transparency-related news items, congressional committee hearings, transparency-related bills introduced in Congress, and transparency-related events.
- The Coalition for Derivatives End-Users, a coalition of 270 companies and business associations that use derivatives to hedge risk, has been lobbying for exemptions as regulators implement the new financial reform law, arguing that non-financial companies should not be held to the same collateral standards as Wall Street firms. (Politico) Other members of the corporate community are also concerned with the financial regulations, arguing that strict regulations will be bad for business. (Washington Post)
- When Congress repealed section 9291 of the Dodd-Frank reform act to limit FOIA exemptions, they did not address section 404, which provides a FOIA exemption for “information, reports, documents, records, or information,” collected by financial agencies in their capacity of overseeing investment advisers. (Sunlight Foundation)
- K Street firms hired to lobby on behalf of Egypt, such as PLM Group, are still active after President Mubarak’s resignation. (Roll Call $)
- Take a look at President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal, broken down by how much agencies are requesting in 2012 compared to what they were allocated in 2010. (Federal Times)
- White House Legislative Affairs Director Phil Schiliro has stepped down from his position as White House liaison to serve as a senior adviser to Obama. (Roll Call $)
- Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI) have introduced legislation calling for an independent office to be established to investigate federal judges. (Wall Street Journal)
- Concerns regarding how the Interior Department manages national oil and gas resources have placed it on the Government Accountability Office’s biennial “High-Risk Report.” (Washington Post)
- Top officials at the General Services Administration say that the process for issuing federal acquisition rules has become too slow and uncoordinated and must be drastically reorganized. (Government Executive)
- Federal Chief Information Officer Vivek Kundra says one-quarter of the Information Technology budget will go towards cloud computing solutions. (Federal News Radio)
- President Obama is heading to the West Coast this week to meet with technology leaders in defense of allocations in his 2012 budget proposal for technological improvements across the country. (Next Gov)
- Secretary of State Clinton warned governments yesterday in a speech on Net Freedom that limiting access to the Internet would ultimately backfire, causing riots such as those seen in Egypt and Tunisia. (Washington Post)
- Former Senator Russ Feingold announced the launch of Progressives United, a political action committee aimed at promoting progressive ideals and supporting local, state, and national candidates. (Politico)
- New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) has cut funding for the Delaware Port Authority’s contract with the K Street firm, the American Continental Group. (Roll Call $)
- Opinion: Regardless of what you think of Rep. Issa, he was among the first to suggest divorcing the Minerals Management Service from the Interior Department. (Washington Post)
Relevant committee hearings scheduled for 2/16:
- Oversight and Government Reform, Regulatory Affairs Subcommittee. On examining the effects of the stimulus after two years. 10:00am. HVC-210 Capitol.
- Oversight and Government Reform, Government Organization Subcommittee. On improving the federal financial reporting model. 1:30pm. Public witnesses. 2203 Rayburn House Office Building.
Relevant bills introduced:
- H.J. Res. 36. A joint resolution proposing an amendment to the Constitution of the United States to abolish the Electoral College and provide for the direct election of the President and Vice President by the popular vote of all citizens of the United States regardless of place of residence; to the Committee on the Judiciary.
Transparency events scheduled for 2/16:
- Modernizing Federal Performance. Government Executive. Wed. 2/16. 8:00-10:00am. Ronald Reagan Building, The Rotunda. 8th Floor (North Tower). 1300 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW. Washington, DC.