Tuesday morning federal headlines - Sept. 27

Tuesday - 9/27/2011, 8:03am EDT


The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • A Senate vote appears to have averted a government shutdown. The Senate yesterday passed a six-week continuing resolution that sidesteps a disagreement with the House version over an increase in FEMA emergency response funding that would have been offset by cuts in an energy subsidy. But yesterday FEMA officials said they could get by with the lower House funding. (Federal News Radio)

  • A new bill would allow federal employees to donate their unused sick days to their needier colleagues. Lawmakers from Virginia and Maryland are teaming up to sponsor the Federal Employees Leave Transfer Act of 2011, which would let government workers transfer unused time to "leave banks" at each agency. While many agencies have leave banks, the Federal Aviation Administration is the only one that lets workers donate both annual vacation time and sick leave. Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) said the bill is a way for federal workers to help out their colleagues in times of prolonged illness.

  • The Office of Personnel Management will announce 2012 premiums for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. In fiscal 2011, premiums rose by an average of 7.2 percent. That was smaller than the previous year's increases, and less than what large companies faced. Last year, federal employees chose from 207 health plans. (Federal News Radio)

  • Lockheed Martin will cut 540 jobs in its aeronautics division as part of ongoing payroll reductions first announced in June. The Washington Business Journal reports the aeronautics division has about 28,000 employees. Lockheed said the affected employees will depart by the end of the year. Meanwhile, Lockheed plans to cut 1,500 jobs company-wide by the end of the year. More than 450 salaried employees agreed to voluntary layoffs offered last month. (Washington Business Journal)

  • The Washington Monument remains closed indefinitely because of damage from last month's earthquake. National Park Service officials said there's no timetable for reopening the structure. Starting today, engineers will begin rappelling down the sides of the monument to check for damage outside. Dozens of pieces of stone fell in the interior of the monument during and after the quake. The monument's elevator was damaged as well but is now working again. (Federal News Radio)

  • Doug Criscitello, who left federal service as chief financial officer of HUD, has joined Grant Thornton. He'll be a director in the company's Global Public Sector Practice. Criscitello's job at HUD was an appointed, Senate-confirmed one, but he had a long career in public service before that. He was the founding director of the New York City Independent Budget Office, the city's version of the Congressional Budget Office. Before that, Criscitello worked at both the CBO and the Office of Management and Budget. He also established the CFO office at the Small Business Administration.

  • The National Science Foundation has launched 24-hour online radio programming dedicated to science, technology, engineering and math. Dubbed "Science 360," the service will features 100 shows and podcasts. Content will be produced in the United States, Canada, the United Kingdom and Australia. Listeners can access the material online via the Web, or using Android and iPhones. Contributors include the National Science Foundation, itself, NASA and the National Institutes of Health. (National Science Foundation)

  • The Census Bureau has launched a new database that lets users search through decades of economic data. Users can select any of Census's 12 economic indicators including new home sales, construction spending and international trade. (Census Bureau)