In Depth Show Blog - March 4, 2014

Tuesday - 3/4/2014, 5:39pm EST

This is the In Depth show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today's guests:

Rep. Diana Urban

Connecticut State Assembly

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The release of the White House budget request for fiscal 2015 today is also a reminder. Historically, each administration releases its request at the beginning of February instead of the beginning of March. The administration blames the delay on Congress failing to get the 2014 budget finalized until January of this year. Federal News Radio talks to budget experts from all over the country and all over the spectrum in our special report this week, "Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process." Diana Urban is a member of the Connecticut State Assembly. She writes for our special report that there's big difference between what elected officials promise when they run and the reality they learn after they win.

Valerie Melvin
Director of Information Management and Technology Resources Issues
Government Accountability Office

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The Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs say sharing an electronic health records system won't work. But the Government Accountability Office wants some proof.

Jessica Klement
Legislative Director
National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association

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The White House 2015 budget request is out. It has some policy and program ideas that could directly affect the federal workforce.

Bob Bixby
Executive Director
The Concord Coalition

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Today's budget request release is focusing attention on Congress. One reason is they're the next stop for the budget request as administration officials begin to appear before committees to testify about why they asked for what they asked for. Another focus on Congress today is because they're part of the reason the budget request is out at the beginning of March instead of the beginning of February. The White House says delays in getting fiscal 2014's budget done held up their work on the 2015 request. Bob Bixby, executive director of the Concord Coalition, writes as part of our special report this week, "Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process", the fix is pretty simple.

Roger Waldron
President
Coalition for Government Procurement

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The new 2015 budget request out today from the White House has a prominent place for strategic sourcing. The budget request says "Creation of central vehicles that can be used by all Federal agencies has reduced contract duplication and reduced prices for some common office supplies by over 65 percent. Such efforts save taxpayer dollars directly through reduced prices and dupli­cation that allows agencies to focus scarce human capital resources on more complex, mission-critical efforts."

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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The Defense Department's 2015 budget makes another attempt to shift at least some of its healthcare cost burden onto the beneficiaries of DoD's TRICARE system. But the Pentagon has hit a wall with Congress on that issue for the past several years. Federal News Radio's Jared Serbu has details on DoD's latest attempt to slow the growth of its medical costs.

Jason Miller
Executive Editor
Federal News Radio

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Finally, details you can dig your teeth into under the second term President's Management Agenda. The fiscal 2015 budget request to Congress describes initiatives around improving customer service at the IRS and the Social Security Administration plans to fund and launch a civilian property realignment board and making federally funded data more available. Federal News Radio's executive editor Jason Miller has sunk his teeth into the budget and is here with details.


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