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U.S. Border Patrol Deputy Chief Ronald Vitiello, left, National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd testify in support of a bill that would trim Border Patrol costs by capping overtime pay for agents.

A Senate committee was urged Monday to fix the “hopelessly broken” overtime policy for Border Patrol agents, by boosting agents’ base pay but cutting any extra pay they would otherwise get for overtime hours. Read more»

Arizona Sens. Jeff Flake, left, and John McCain joined other Republican lawmakers proposing a bill that would give veterans a choice other than the Department of Veterans Affairs for their health care. Senate Democrats have introduced a similar bill.

With problem-plagued health care at the Department of Veterans Affairs, Arizona’s senators joined other lawmakers to back a bill letting vets seek care elsewhere. The bill, and a similar Democratic measure, come in the wake of problems that forced the VA secretary's resignation. Read more»

The Pentagon has been paying hundreds of millions of tax dollars a year to people and companies that don’t deserve it, but its financial management shortcomings are so severe that it’s made little progress in halting the errors or even measuring their magnitude, according to a report released by a Senate committee.. Read more»

The incisions made during an upper eyelid blepharoplasty procedure.

Aging Americans worried about their droopy upper eyelids often rely on the plastic surgeon’s scalpel to turn back the hands of time. Increasingly, Medicare is footing the bill. Read more»

Kevin K. McAleenan, left, of Customs and Border Protection, Border Patrol Chief Michael J. Fisher, Randolph D. Alles of CBP’s air and marine office and James A Dinkins of Homeland Security Investigation faced tough questioning on border security from a Senate committee.

Senators questioned assurances Wednesday that the border is getting more secure, telling Homeland Security officials that the government needs a better plan and a better way of measuring progress on the border. Read more»

The Sunday talk shows included exaggerated claims from both sides about the debate over automatic spending cuts scheduled to take effect March 1. Read more»

House Speaker John Boehner tweets that the Obama administration is spending $1.2 million “paying people to play video games.” That’s misleading. The government did pay $1.2 million for university research that includes the study of how video games can stimulate the cognitive abilities of seniors. Read more»

Native American and women’s groups welcomed the Senate’s reauthorization Tuesday of the Violence Against Women Act, which includes a provision to let tribal courts prosecute non-Indian suspects in domestic and sexual abuse cases. Read more»

A deteriorating roof at Clarkmoor Elementary at Fort Lewis, Wash.

The Senate has decided not to take up a proposal that would close rather than repair decrepit Defense Department-run schools on military bases, creating a flood of thousands of students to nearby public school systems. But the plan's chief architect is vowing to try again. Read more»

The plan would repeal the health law's long-term care provision and make deep reductions in Medicare and Medicaid that would impact hospital payments. But the blueprint also would permanently address Medicare's physician payment issue. Read more»

Republicans at the Conservative Political Action Conference this past weekend strayed at times from the facts, although for the most part, they stuck to expressing their low opinions of the current administration and its policies. Read more»

The mainstream media were asleep at the switch on the 9/11 bill until Jon Stewart shamed them into paying attention, writes Eric Alterman. Read more»

Last year’s battle over building additional F-22 Raptor fighter jets illustrated the parochial political interests of individual members of Congress when it comes to defense programs.

The battle lines for the most contentious defense budget process in decades are already being drawn. The first shots have been fired, with various deficit commissions issuing proposals for significant cuts in spending. Watch for parochial political interests and partisan preferences to play their part. Read more»

Child laborers at Avondale Mills in Avondale (now Birmingham), Alabama. Photograph by Lewis Hine for the National Child Labor Committee, November 1910.

Opinion: Spend a week listening to the right, and you'll think the founders were all modern-day Tea Partiers. It's enough to make you think they're just making it up as they go along. Yet the reality is even worse. When the right's view of the Constitution was ascendant 75 years ago, basic protections such as a restriction on child labor were declared unconstitutional. Read more»

News outlets are reporting on the politics surrounding Medicare payments to physicians. Read more»

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