Jamie Dupree’s Washington Insider

Whistleblowers paint dark picture of VA

12:23 pm Jul. 9, 2014

In a hearing that stretched to midnight Tuesday night, the VA faced more bipartisan Congressional criticism as a group of four whistleblowers detailed how they spoke up about internal problems only to be subjected to personal attacks and retaliation from supervisors and top officials in the VA.

“I was immediately removed from my position,” said Dr. Jose Mathews, who raised questions about the very light work load of psychiatric doctors at

Obama requests $3.7 billion to deal with border surge

12:04 pm Jul. 8, 2014

President Obama has sent Congress a request for $3.7 billion in emergency funding to help deal with a recent surge of children and adults from Central America – almost half of that would go to the Department of Health and Human Services to deal with the care and detention of what officials call “Unaccompanied Alien Children.”

The figures break down like this:

+ $1.8 billion for the Department of Health and Human

Feds limit reporters on border kids visits

6:18 pm Jul. 7, 2014

As members of Congress and reporters ask to visit federal facilities housing children who have been apprehended by the U.S. in recent months, federal officials are slapping limits on members of the news media who want a glimpse inside.

For example, an email sent to news organizations by Jesus Garcia, a public affairs officer for the Administration for Children and Families, a division of the Department of Health and Human Services,

Can Congress actually change the VA?

9:17 pm Jul. 6, 2014

One easy target in the political controversy over long wait times and substandard care for veterans is certainly the VA leadership, which even the White House says has allowed a “corrosive” culture to develop inside that agency. But it is difficult to review these VA troubles without wondering why the Congress has escaped questions about its own oversight, and whether lawmakers can actually bring about real change and reform for

US steps up overseas airline security

3:29 pm Jul. 2, 2014

The Department of Homeland Security announced on Wednesday that because of “recent and relevant” information the U.S. would be stepping up security measures at certain overseas airports which have direct flights to the United States.

“We will work to ensure these necessary steps pose as few disruptions to travelers as possible,” said Homeland Security Secretary Jeh Johnson in a written statement.

No details were given on what kind of threat might be

Feds struggle with health law data troubles

10:42 am Jul. 1, 2014

A new report from the Inspector General at the Department of Health and Human Services says the Obama Administration has been struggling for months to resolve data discrepancies involving millions of signups for coverage under the Obama health law – and that 2.6 million “inconsistencies” weren’t fixed as of the first quarter of 2014.

“During the period of our review, marketplaces were unable to resolve most inconsistencies, which they reported most