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Shows & Panels
Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp bring you the latest news affecting the federal community each weekday morning, featuring interviews with top government executives and contractors. Listen live from 6 to 9 a.m. or download archived interviews on our daily show blogs.
Monday federal headlines - July 8, 2013
Monday - 7/8/2013, 10:46am EDT
The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp 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.
- It seems sequestration is to blame for a pile of about 25,000
retirement claims that the Office of Personnel Management is still scrambling to
process. OPM has fallen behind for the second consecutive month in its ability to
process retirement claims. It processed a little more than 8,500 claims last
month. That's almost 3,000 fewer than it anticipated. The agency was forced to cut
overtime for its employees in April. OPM says overtime was a key part of its
ability to tackle the ongoing pile of retirement claims. An unexpected surge of
about 60,000 new claims from January to April also contributed to the backlog.
(Federal News Radio)
- Today's the day of reckoning for civilian defense workers. This week more than
700,000 employees will have the first of 11 days off without pay in fiscal 2013.
Now Pentagon officials are starting to think about how sequestration in 2014 will
affect the department. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel reports to senators with details this week.
By shifting around funds this year, the department was able to minimize furloughs.
But leaders worry that next year, they might have to resort to layoffs. Army Chief
of staff Gen. Ray Odierno warns, a 2014 sequester would also cause a 100,000
person drop in active-duty and reserve uniforms. (Federal News Radio)
- The Health and Human Services Department took the holiday weekend to quietly
release more relaxed status rules for health insurance exchanges, Reuters reports. The move gives 16
states and the District of Columbia until 2015 to randomly check applicant income
and employer-insurance status for eligibility in state health insurance exchanges.
The Obama administration announced last week that it wouldn't require employers
with 50 employees or more to provide health benefits until 2015. (Reuters)
- An internal Pentagon report details the near failure of the command charged
with finding and identifying Americans missing in action. It says the Joint POW/MIA Command is so poorly mismanaged
it risks descending from dysfunction to total failure. The new commander, Air
Force Major Gen. Kelly McKeague, says he would not dispute that finding. He says
he wants to clean up the command. A study showed that in some instances, old
battlefields in North Korea were planted with skeletons for U.S. search crews to
find. The report says the pursuit of MIA evidence is sluggish, wasteful and
to too little scientific rigor. The Associated Press obtained the study after
Freedom of Information Act requests for it by others were denied. (Federal News
- Federal Times reports the
Office of Personnel Management is struggling to investigate a growing backlog of
false background checks. Former customs service special agent Ramon Davila
recently joined a list of 19 other background researchers who pleaded guilty or
faced charges for falsifying security clearance background checks since 2008. OPM
Inspector General Patrick McFarland said the agency has a lack of resources to
properly address the backlog. He said there are at least 36 other cases that await
investigation. (Federal Times)
- After claiming success with its Open Government Initiative, the White House is
moving on to Version Two. In a blog post, the White House says it wants public input. It
reports that a Syracuse University professor already held a workshop on public
participation and open government. And a group called the National Coalition for
Dialogue and Deliberation staged an online discussion about open government. Next
will come input from federal agencies and the public using the Quora and Google+
platforms. The blog post carried the byline of Lisa Ellman and Hollie Gilman.
- Chinese and American officials get together this week in Washington. Cybersecurity will be among the leading topics of the
Strategic and Economic Dialogue. China is under pressure to reduce its cyberspying
and apparent taking of intellectual property. Chinese leaders say they are victims
of cyber espionage. The U.S. delegation to the talks is headed by Treasury
Secretary Jack Lew and Secretary of State John Kerry. State Councilor Yang Jeichi
and Vice Premier Wang Yang represent China. (AP)
- Same sex couples can now sponsor their spouses for U.S. visa applications. Department of Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano ordered U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services to immediately review immigration petitions from same-sex spouses in the same way it processes applications from opposite-sex couples. That's according to statement DHS released last week. Napolitano says President Barack Obama asked federal agencies to implement their policies to same sex couples quickly and smoothly. (DHS)