news from Capitol Hill today:
Despite a promise from President Obama that his administration would be the most open in history, more than 300 individuals and groups have filed lawsuits in order to get public records in the past year. Many of the plaintiffs argue that the lack of transparency remains the same since the Bush administration, as 298 public-records lawsuits were filed in 2008, the last year of Bush’s tenure.
Embattled Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner will face many tough questions today during his testimony in front of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform. The specific issue at hand is Geithner's role in the bailout of AIG as president of the New York Federal Reserve, and his possible role in its decision not to disclose information about AIG's "back-door" bailout of other firms. Geither has faced criticism from Democrats and Republicans.
A coalition of nonprofit groups, including GAP, sent a letter to President Obama asking for a revision in the year-old executive order than restricts lobbyists from jobs in the administration. The order does not cover many special interest insiders, while still restricting non-profit or charity lobbyists, who do not have a particular financial interest in policy.
In public safety news:
New technology for radiation, and the nature of overworked hospital workers, has created new avenues for human error in the therapies. And because of the nature of the therapies, mistakes can be repeated multiple times, causing serious damage to patients.
And finally in climate science news:
Following the Massachusetts special election win by Republican Scott Brown, advocates of a climate policy are creating a more modest proposal, believing their more comprehensive cap-and-trade based plan would not pass the Senate. Instead, they are turning to a plan involving more "job-creating energy projects and energy efficiency measures."
In recent months, two cases against big producers of heat-trapping gases, including ExxonMobil and Shell Oil, have gone ahead in federal court after previous decisions to dismiss them were reversed. The cases, and others, are part of a climate change litigation movement that could eventually bring large industries to the negotiating table.