Monday - Friday, 6-9 a.m.
Host Tom Temin brings 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 below.
Friday federal headlines - July 18, 2014
Friday - 7/18/2014, 8:06am 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.
The largest EPA employees union barks back at
Administrator Gina McCarthy. She testified she needs more flexibility to fire
poor-performing employees. The American Federation of Government Employees tells
McCarthy, she needs to instead hold managers and senior staff more accountable for
their behavior. In a letter, the union says the EPA management has a country club
mentality. It says management is the cause of most problems in the agency.
Earlier, Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) complained that employees caught watching
pornography online during work hours weren't fired on the spot. (Federal News
A Homeland Security Department plan to work with a controversial provider of
background checks has set off alarm bells on Capitol Hill. It's also led to an
unusual alliance between Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-
Okla.). They say Citizenship and Immigration Services, part of DHS, has awarded a
contract to USIS for field office support services. The lawmakers question the
deal in a letter to Secretary Jeh Johnson. The Justice Department has sued the
company for allegedly faking more than 600,000 background checks on applications
for security clearances. (House)
The apparent shoot-down of an
airliner over Ukraine sparks action across the U.S. government. President
Obama offers U.S. help in determining definitively what brought down the Malaysia
Airlines 777. He speaks by telephone with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
Intelligence community officials assess the situation, concluding a surface-to-air
missile caused the crash. Secretary John Kerry says the State Department is trying
to find the identities of any Americans aboard the flight. The FAA says U.S.
carriers voluntarily agree not to operate near the Ukraine border or over its
territory. (Associated Press)
Deputy Attorney James Cole tells a House panel, he heard about lost emails at the IRS from news reports, not from the IRS
itself. He testifies about progress Justice is making in an investigation of
political bias allegations at IRS. Republicans are calling for a special
prosecutor. They chastise Cole for a long period of silence since President Obama
ordered the investigation. (Associated Press)
President Obama's White House has been consistently late in delivering its annual budget
requests. The House tries a stick approach to speed things up. GovExec
reports, that stick is in the 2015 Financial Services and General Government
Appropriations bill approved this week. It withholds more than half of the money
for the Office of Management and Budget until the 2016 budget is delivered. The
deadline is Feb. 2 of next year. That means OMB wouldn't get its full funding
until 123 days into the fiscal year. That is, if it's on time. (GovExec)
The Senate Appropriations Committee passes a Defense spending bill for 2015.
Defense News reports, it provides about $490 billion in base spending and $58
billion for overseas contingency operations. It keeps alive some weapons military
planners hoped to retire. It cuts the administration's information technology
spending request by tens of millions of dollars. The bill faces tough-
going in the full Senate. (Federal Times/Defense News)
The scene of the Navy Yard shootings will reopen as a workplace in February. Vice Adm.
William Hilarides says he expects all 2,700 employees to be back in Building 197
by the end of April. Hilarides leads Naval Sea Systems Command, which was
headquartered in that building. When it reopens, it will be renamed for Joshua
Humphreys, who designed the first Navy frigates. A defense contractor shot and
killed 12 colleagues at the building in September. Since then, it has been
renovated. Employees have been working from other locations in the Washington
area. (Associated Press)
It looks as if national security leaker Chelsea Manning will start getting gender change treatment. The Army private
is serving a life sentence in military prison for disclosing thousands of
classified documents. Manning says she is convinced she's a woman in a man's body.
The Federal Bureau of Prisons rejects the Pentagon's request to transfer her to
civilian prison, where she could presumably get better sex-change treatment. Her
lawyer says Manning is safer in military prison. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel
authorizes basic hormone therapy. But military officials say they can't provide
the latest and best treatment. (Associated Press)