The State Department issued significantly more border crossing cards in the last few years due to the recovery of travel to U.S. that had dropped after the Sept. 11 attacks and a cyclical issuance period that recently ended, Edward Ramotowski State Department Deputy Assistant Secretary for Visa Services told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee subcommittee on national security Nov. 14.
"When you're doing a La Cosa Nostra investigation, you can de-conflict by calling each other or setting up a meeting for next Wednesday," FBI Director James Comey said during a Senate hearing. "When the threat is moving at 186,000 miles per second, as a photon does on the Internet, there's no time to make that phone call."
Intelligence officials Wednesday said they oppose a law that would require them to disclose the number of Americans whose communications are swept up in surveillance of foreigners on the grounds that there's no reliable way to do so. During a Nov. 13 Senate Judiciary subcommittee hearing, ODNI General Counsel Robert Litt said counting the number of affected Americans "is operationally very difficult, at least without an extraordinary investment of resources and maybe not even then."
Staffing problems, poor oversight of nursing staff and a push to expedite the prescription of pain medications without full patient evaluation, allowed staff at the G.V. Sonny Montgomery VA Medical Center in Jackson, Miss. to illegally dispense narcotics, said a former doctor who worked at the facility.
A Homeland Security Department plan to complete an incremental, component-by-component modernization of financial management systems by fiscal 2018 is under a tight schedule, said Chip Fulgham, the department's acting chief financial officer.
In the wake of a report calling the Transportation Security Administration's behavior detection program unscientific, defenders of the program pointed to similar efforts in other countries as confirmation of its value.
The State Department designated Boko Haram and splinter group Ansaru, both Nigeria-based militant groups, as foreign terrorist organizations Nov. 13. "We took this step after very careful consideration, and I know you think it was too long," said Linda Thomas-Greenfield, the department's assistant secretary for African affairs, during a House hearing.
In a hearing characterized by interruptions and flashes of anger by members of Congress at each other, healthcare.gov project manager Henry Chao told the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee that his decision to disable an anonymous shopper feature on the troubled website was driven by technical difficulties, not White House pressure."It failed so miserably that we could not conscionably let people use it," Chao said.
There is no evidence that the Transportation Security Administration's behavior detection program works, the Government Accountability Office says.
The nominee to fill the vacancy atop the Homeland Security Department said his immediate priority as secretary would be to help fill other key positions throughout the department.