This week's poll listed an incorrect budget amount for the Dept. of Veterans Affairs. The correct number is $129.2 billion. This correction should not significantly affect the poll results. We regret the error.
U.S. Rep. Thomas Massie, R-Ky., has introduced a bill that reads, in full: "The Department of Education shall terminate on December 31, 2018." David Schoenbrod, a professor at New York Law School, says it's unlikely that the department would be abolished by legislation that does not specify what would happen to its budget and duties.
Newly released emails shed new light on the contact between the State Department and the Clinton Foundation, with foundation officials apparently seeking a job placement and preferential access to State Department officials. Donald Trump used the release to attack Hillary Clinton as corrupt and unsuited for office.
In September, with the shutdown looming, the State Department rushed to spend $180,000 on premium booze for its embassies, bringing its total alcohol tab for the year to more than $400,000. The department's booze spending included $22,416 on wine for its Tokyo embassy, and $15,900 on bourbon and whiskey for its Moscow embassy. Officials said the expenditures were necessary to ensure that U.S. diplomats "make the best impression" on foreign governments.
The Department of the Interior has delayed the implementation of rules covering hydraulic fracturing. Interior earlier planned to finalize the rules by year's end, but it now "expects action on the [hydraulic fracturing] proposal in the new year," said Blake Androff, a spokesman for the department. "[A]s we continue to offer millions of acres of America's public lands for oil and gas development, it is important that the public have full confidence that the right safety and environmental protections are in place."
The Senate voted 54-41 to approve an amendment that would allow the Department of Defense to invest in advanced-biofuel plants through a partnership deal involving the Agriculture, Energy and Navy departments. "Developing a commercially viable biofuels industry could help DOD diversify its fuel sources and reduce the risk of energy volatility," said Sen. Kay Hagan, D-N.C., who introduced the amendment.