Fitz File: Monday, January 13 - DC News FOX 5 DC WTTG

Fitz File: Monday, January 13

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Today is Monday, Jan. 13, the 13th day of 2014. There are 352 days left in the year.

GOVERNMENT TRAVEL SPENDING: 10:30am The US government pays a lot of lip service to spending cuts and belt tightening but time and time again, there are examples of large spending on things like "conferences" "entertainment" and sometimes questionable travel. an $800,000 Las Vegas "Conference" by the GSA has drawn a lot of criticism, but it's not the only case.   Today the Senate Government Affairs holds hearing asking what's done to stop wasteful extravagant travel and conference spending by Government agencies. Location: SD-342, Dirksen Senate Office Building http://www.hsgac.senate.gov/hearings/examining-conference-and-travel-spending-across-the-federal-government

MARYLAND HEALTHCARE OVERHAUL? - Are more even Democrats curtly critiquing  Obamacare? A Maryland Democratic Congressman says Maryland's State run Affordable Healthcare Exchange website isn't working like it should and that O'Malley administration should consider either scrapping it, or switching to the federal "Obamacare" site. Rep. John Delaney issued a long proposal last night after a Washington Post report found by January 4, only 20,358 Marylanders were enrolled in private coverage plans. This represents only 14% the state’s initial target of 150,000 private coverage enrollees by March 31.

FIRST RESPONDER HEALTHCARE FIX - Remember (then) Speaker Pelosi's comment in 2009 that we'll find out what's in the Obamacare bill after Congress passed it? Well today volunteer First Responders are breathing a sigh of relief after the Treasury Department finally "fixed" one of the hidden things that was in the bill that targeted them.  Some volunteer firefighters  are paid  small stipends, others have other full-time employment. The Treasury Depart Sid last night it won't count those hours and earnings towards requiring volunteer departments to provide employer mandated Obamacare policies. In Virginia alone there are 48,000 volunteer firefighters and an 454 volunteer EMT's, according to the  Virginia Department of Fire Programs the Virginia Department of Health. Critics warned with out the move volunteer first repo dear departments nation wide risked closure.

IRAN NUKE DEAL - Secretary of State John Kerry praised the breakthrough Sunday in which Iran and six world powers have agreed about how to enact the terms of last November's interim nuclear deal.  Kerry told reporters in Paris that the United States will keep a close eye on Iran during this interim period.  Kerry he says will be the first time in more than 10 years that Iran is not trying to advance its nuclear program. But Virginia Congressman, House Republican Leader Eric Cantor has blasted the deal saying calling it "flawed". Cantor says it "rewards Iran's flagrant violations of multiple U.N. Security Council resolutions calling for the full suspension of its nuclear program". 

Today in history:

In 1794, President George Washington approved a measure adding two stars and two stripes to the American flag, following the admission of Vermont and Kentucky to the Union. (The number of stripes was later reduced to the original 13.)

In 1982, an Air Florida 737 crashed into Washington, D.C.'s 14th Street Bridge and fell into the Potomac River after taking off during a snowstorm, killing a total of 78 people; four passengers and a flight attendant survived.

In 1990, L. Douglas Wilder of Virginia became the nation's first elected black governor as he took the oath of office in Richmond.

Quote of day:

"Always give your best, never get discouraged, never be petty; always remember, others may hate you. Those who hate you don't win unless you hate them. And then you destroy yourself."  President Richard M. Nixon.

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