Congressional lawmakers criticized the government's response to Ebola in the United States on Thursday as some called, at a congressional hearing probing efforts to contain the virus, for a ban on travel from epidemic-stricken West Africa. Federal Aviation Administration chief Michael Huerta told reporters separately that the United States is assessing whether to issue a travel ban "on a day-to-day basis" but that the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) had determined that a ban would not address the challenges posed by Ebola. The congressional hearing comes as concerns about the virus in the United States are accelerating. Several schools in Ohio and Texas were closed after concerns that a nurse with Ebola traveled on a plane with people with ties to the schools.
U.S. lawmakers scolded the head of the U.S. Secret Service on Tuesday over a security breach that allowed a knife-wielding intruder to run deep into the White House, and Director Julia Pierson promised them it would never happen again. Pierson acknowledged the agency charged with protecting the president had failed on Sept. 19 when it allowed a man to jump the fence at the home of the President of the United States, burst through the front door and run into the East Room, which is used for events and receptions. "This is unacceptable and I take full responsibility," she told a U.S. House of Representatives committee investigating the incident, promising a complete review of agency procedures.
The farce that is Rep. Darrell Issa continues. He put on an amazing spectacle shutting down the ranking member of the House Oversight Committee, Elijah Cummings, on Wednesday, repeatedly cutting off Cummings’s microphone and, finally, turning his back and walking away. I especially loved Issa’s little gesture pulling his finger across his throat like a knife, to cut the mic a second time. I called it “thuggish” on “Politics Nation” and folks on the right aren’t happy. That’s OK; it was thuggish. Issa had once again called former IRS supervisor Lois Lerner to testify before the committee, knowing she was going to again use her Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination.
Obama administration technology officials denied Wednesday that political considerations influenced decisions on the scope of last month’s rollout of new health-insurance exchanges, as they sparred with House Republicans amid continuing recriminations over President Obama’s health-care law.