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Posts tagged ‘Tammy Duckworth’

IRS Gave $500 Million Veterans Contracts for Twisted Ankle.

A Washington, D.C., business owner won lucrative IRS contracts under a special program for disabled veterans — because he twisted his ankle 27 years ago playing football at a U.S. Military Prep School.

Strong Castle owner Braulio Castillo was awarded information-technology contracts with the agency worth almost $500 million by manipulating eligibility rules for IRS special programs, Fox News reported. 

He also took advantage of an IRS program for businesses that employ economically disadvantaged applicants. Although his business is located in a low-income neighborhood in Washington’s Chinatown, he employed students from Catholic University.

Castillo filed for a disability rating in 2012 with the Veterans Administration, saying it was based on “a foot injury he suffered in 1984.” That allowed him to register Strong Castle as a “service-disabled, veteran-owned small business,” CBS News reported

Rep. Tammy Duckworth, an Iraq war veteran and double amputee, blasted Castillo at a House Oversight committee meeting Wednesday.

“I’m so glad that you would be willing to play football in prep school again to protect this great country. Shame on you, Mr. Castillo, shame on you,” the Illinois Democrat said.
“We’ve found the kind of wrongdoing that should have caused this contract to be canceled,” Rep. Darrell Issa, House Oversight Committee chairman, said during the hearing, according to CBS News.

“Understand — never served a day on active duty, went to a school at taxpayers’ expense, and had a minor injury that didn’t keep him from going on to play college ball,” Issa said.
Greg Roseman, an IRS deputy director and close personal friend of Castillo, awarded him the contracts. Roseman was called before the committee to testify but instead invoked his Fifth Amendment right against self incrimination.

It was the second time since news of the IRS targeting controversy broke that a senior agency official has invoked the Fifth Amendment. Lois Lerner, former director of the IRS Exempt Organizations division, appeared before the committee May 22 and refused to answer questions about the agency’s targeting of conservative groups.

© 2013 Newsmax. All rights reserved.
By Melanie Batley

7 inspiring firsts for the 113th Congress.

With rock-bottom approval ratings and plenty of unfinished business from the 112th Congress, the newly sworn-in 113th Congress kicked off with a fresh start on Thursday.

There are 82 new members of the House of Representatives — 35 Republicans and 47 Democrats. In the upper chamber, there are 13 new senators — eight Democrats, four Republicans, and one independent.

Sen. Mark Kirk‘s (R-Ill.) inspiring return to the Senate, nearly a full year after suffering a massive stroke, set an uplifting tone for the day, but there were also a number of noteworthy firsts:

1. The Senate has a record-breaking 20 female senators — 4 Republicans and 16 Democrats.

2. Sen. Tim Scott (R-S.C.), appointed to replace outgoing Sen. Jim DeMint (R-S.C.), became the first African American senator from the deep South since Reconstruction.

3. Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hi.) is the first Buddhist senator.

4. Rep. Tulsi Gabbard (D-Hi.) is the first Hindu in either chamber.

5. Sen. Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.) is the first openly gay senator.

6. Rep. Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.) is the first openly bisexual member of either chamber.

7. Rep. Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.) is the first female combat veteran in either chamber.

The big question is how this new group of lawmakers can overcome the poor reputation of Congress among the American people. The good news is that with only about 10 percent of Americans approving of their lawmakers, there’s not much room left to go down.


By Taegan Goddard.

Congressman says abortions never necessary to save life of mother.


Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois (AP)

Republican Congressman Joe Walsh of Illinois said after his Thursday debate against Democratic rival Tammy Duckworth that abortions are never necessary to save a pregnant woman‘s life, because modern technology has eliminated the risks of childbearing.

Walsh was defending his position that abortion should be outlawed with no exceptions, which is also the Republican Party’s official stance on the issue.

“With modern technology and science, you can’t find one instance” of a pregnant woman’s life being at risk, he told reporters after the debate. “There is no such exception as life of the mother, and as far as health of the mother, same thing.” He added that “advances in science and technology” meant that abortion is never necessary for the health of a mother.

Walsh, a freshman Congressman, is seen as “likely” to lose his seat to Duckworth, a veteran of the Iraq War, in part because his redrawn district now includes more Democrats than when he ran two years ago.

In August, Republican Senate candidate and sitting Congressman from Missouri Todd Akin told a reporter that he didn’t support exceptions for abortion for rape because women’s bodies have a mechanism to prevent pregnancy in the case of a “legitimate rape.” Mitt Romney and many national Republican politicians quickly distanced themselves from Akin and his comment. Romney has said he supports abortion exceptions in the cases of rape and the mother’s health.

Update: According to The Chicago Daily Herald‘s Kerry Lester, Walsh said in a press conference Friday that he believes ectopic pregnancies can result in death, but did not take questions about whether he would make abortion exceptions in those cases.


By  | The Ticke

Democrats brag about killing Osama bin Laden.

Obama at the Veterans of Foreign Wars conference in July (Justin Sullivan/Getty Images)CHARLOTTE—Perhaps acknowledging a potential weakness this November, several Democrats have used their speeches on the first night of the Democratic National Convention to promote President Barack Obama’s record on the military.

At least three times, speakers, including Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and former Virginia Gov. Tim Kaine, have pointed to Obama’s decision to approve the raid that killed Osama bin Laden—suggesting Obama overcame Republican skepticism about a potential raid.

“Some said he shouldn’t move heaven and earth to get bin Laden,” Reid said. “But President Obama made the tough and right call to bring the world’s worst terrorist to justice.”

Tammy Duckworth, a former Army pilot who lost both legs when her helicopter was shot down during the Iraq war, also brought up the bin Laden raid in her speech defending Obama on military issues.

“Barack Obama has also lived up to his responsibilities as commander-in-chief, ending the war in Iraq, refocusing on Afghanistan and eradicating terrorist leaders including bin Laden,” said Duckworth, who is now running for an Illinois congressional seat.

She also praised Obama’s other accomplishments on the military — including his decision to roll back the “don’t ask, don’t tell” rule that blocked gay members of the military from being open about their sexuality. And Duckworth praised Obama’s decision to allow female soldiers to serve in combat.

At the same time, Duckworth criticized Mitt Romney for not talking about the war in Afghanistan during his speech at the Republican National Convention last week — echoing an Obama campaign talking point.

“Mitt Romney had a chance to show his support for the brave men and women he is seeking to command,” she said. “But he chose to criticize President Obama instead of even uttering the word ‘Afghanistan’.”

Her remarks came after an Obama campaign video highlighting the president’s work on behalf of “American veterans.”


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By  | The Ticket

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