Rand Paul, Cory Booker Team Up on Pot Amendment

Would block Justice Dept from prosecuting state-approved medical marijuana

The Senate is expected to vote late Thursday or Friday on an amendment introduced by Sens. Rand Paul (R., Ky.) and Cory Booker (D., N.J.) to block the Justice Department from interfering with state-approved medical marijuana laws.

IRS Lost Lerner Emails Due to Computer Crash, Agency Says

IRS claims it cannot produce emails between Lerner and White House
Lois Lerner / AP

The Internal Revenue Service claims to have lost two-years worth of emails between former IRS official Lois Lerner, who resigned under pressure for her role in the IRS targeting scandal, and outside agencies and groups.

House Ways and Means Committee chairman Dave Camp (R., Mich.) announced Friday that the IRS informed the committee it lost the emails, which the committee was seeking as part of its investigation into the targeting scandal, due to a computer crash in 2011.

Press Groups Pressure Senate Leaders to Pass Shield Law

Bill would allow journalists with knowledge of a crime to refuse to testify
Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid of Nev. speaks to reporters on Capitol Hill / AP

A group of the nation’s largest media companies, press organizations, and First Amendment advocacy groups urged Senate leaders to promptly pass a bill that would protect reporters from being compelled to reveal their sources in court.

Journalists to EPA: No More Anonymous Conference Calls

Society of Environmental Journalists calls for end to background conference calls
Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Gina McCarthy / AP

A journalist organization is protesting the Environmental Protection Agency’s use of “background” or anonymous conference calls between administration officials and reporters, arguing the agency’s insistence on not being quoted runs contrary to the mission of journalism.

Watchdog Group Subpoenaed for VA Whistleblower Info

Group will resist subpoena from VA inspector general
The Phoenix VA Health Care Center / AP

The Veterans Affairs Inspector General has subpoenaed a watchdog organization for information it received from whistleblowers about fraud and mismanagement at VA facilities.

Gina McCarthy’s Reddit Fail

‘olliberallawyer’ unimpressed by EPA administrator’s effort
Gina McCarthy

EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy hosted an “Ask me Anything” session on Reddit Wednesday, and users of the popular website were not impressed with her answers.

Push for Federal Shield Law Bill Begins

Journalists clamor for ability to ignore court orders to reveal sources
New York Times Reporter James Risen / AP

Supporters of a bill that would create a federal shield law for reporters are pushing to get the legislation to the Senate floor following the Supreme Court’s decision to not hear New York Times reporter James Risen’s case on Monday.

Obama EPA Rule Faces Bipartisan Opposition

Critics slam administration for burdensome carbon dioxide regulation
EPA administrator Gina McCarthy / AP

The Obama administration released an aggressive plan Monday to reduce carbon emissions from power plants in the United States by 30 percent by the year 2030, a move panned by critics of executive overreach, vulnerable Senate Democrats, and the energy industry.