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7:15 pm, July 12, 2014

House News

Jon Adler, Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association

The House's top overseer over federal law enforcement agencies thinks the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco, Firearms and Explosives has outlived its usefulness. Rep. James Sensenbrenner (R-WI), the chairman of the House Judiciary Committee says he plans to introduce legislation that would abolish the ATF -- and fold its current responsibilities into other federal agencies, including the FBI and the U.S. Marshals Service. His argument: the ATF has been marred by high-profile blunders and it has missions overlap with other agencies. Jon Adler is national president of the Federal Law Enforcement Officers Association. He took a different view on In Depth with guest host Jared Serbu.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 04:44pm EDT
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House panel debates merits of Senior Exec Service, comes down hard on VA

In examining the viability of the Senior Executive Service, House members called out the Veterans Affairs' compensation program, with a pledge to introduce another piece of legislation to take back bonuses. The Senior Executives Association relayed concerns that talent is fleeing senior executive positions.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 02:08pm EDT

Why a do-nothing Congress is good news for feds

The mid-term elections are upon us, and some people are complaining about political fatigue and gridlock. But for federal and postal workers - and retirees - these may be the good old days, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 07/11/2014, 02:00am EDT

House panel probes DoD's acquisition workforce

The size of DoD's civilian acquisition workforce has grown by some 20,000 employees over the past five years and now numbers about 135,000 personnel members, according to Stephanie Barna, acting assistant secretary of Defense for Readiness and Force Management. That's thanks to an effort by DoD begun in 2009 to recapitalize its acquisition workforce. But the department's focus on the acquisition workforce has been strained by a slew of competing priorities and congressionally-mandated belt-tightening, Barna said.

Thursday - 07/10/2014, 06:14pm EDT

Rep. Donald Payne, Jr. (D-NJ)

For the Department of Homeland Security, making its 22 components' radio systems interoperable with one another has been an objective since the department was created in 2003. But today, DHS still can't account for all of its communications assets -- let alone get them to talk to each other. Last night, the House passed legislation designed to get things moving. Rep. Donald Payne (D-NJ) is the ranking member of the House Subcommittee on Emergency Preparedness and the prime sponsor of the DHS Interoperable Communications Act. He explained the details of the bill on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 05:06pm EDT
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House passes bills tackling DHS communications during disasters

Legislation passed by the House creates a social media working group for the Department of Homeland Security, and adds in requirements and accountability processes to improve interoperability across the agency.

Wednesday - 07/09/2014, 12:53pm EDT

Race to finish fiscal 2015 agency budgets hits snag

The appropriations process was supposed to be easier this year compared to last, because lawmakers had signed off on a bipartisan deal that set top-line spending levels for the next two years. But action in both the House and the Senate appears to have largely stalled.

Monday - 07/07/2014, 05:56pm EDT

Cristina Marcos, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

The pictures are both heartbreaking and maddening. Thousands of minors pouring over the Mexican border into the United States, and causing havoc for guards and other federal employees. A new House bill would let the President appoint dozens of new immigration judges to help keep up with the flow of humanity. Cristina Marcos, a staff writer for The Hill Newspaper, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss the bill's prospects and potential benefits.

Tuesday - 07/01/2014, 10:49am EDT
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House panel votes to preserve USPS Saturday mail delivery

The House Appropriations Committee voted to restore a longstanding congressional mandate requiring the Postal Service to deliver mail on Saturdays.

Wednesday - 06/25/2014, 07:11pm EDT

House, Senate begins compromise talks on vets bill

House, Senate negotiators seek compromise on vets health care bill

Wednesday - 06/25/2014, 03:40pm EDT

Archivist: IRS didn't follow law with lost emails

Top US archivist: IRS didn't follow law, report loss of agency executive's emails in 2011

Wednesday - 06/25/2014, 10:54am EDT

David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

Your agency's funding bill may be among the spending vehicles that appear to be stalling out in Congress. The Senate's effort to get several bills through in a package has hit a roadblock. David Hawkings is Senior Editor at Roll Call and host of the Hawkings Here blog. He detailed the stops-and-starts of the agency budget process on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 06/23/2014, 04:12pm EDT
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House bill raises tension with IRS, lowers funding

The House of Representatives passed a bill that would cut more than $300 million from last year's Internal Revenue Service budget. This adds to the tension between Congress and the IRS over lost emails.

Monday - 06/23/2014, 03:43pm EDT
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Colleen Kelley, President, National Treasury Employees Union

An early House version appropriations language for 2015 would bring the IRS budget below sequestration levels in fiscal 2015. Earlier this week, the Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government approved funding levels that are more than $300 million below what the agency has to spend this year. IRS officials have been adamant that even that level is far too low. The bill comes right after warnings from the Government Accountability Office for the IRS to make some long term budget plans to better deal with an uncertain financial future. Colleen Kelley, president of the National Treasury Employees Union, is looking at what the cuts would mean for agency operations and the workforce. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose these cuts go too far. Read related article by Federal News Radio's Stephanie Wasko.

Friday - 06/20/2014, 04:39pm EDT
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VA defends 'outlandish' performance rating, bonus systems

Despite reports of delayed patient treatments, falsified records and preventable veteran deaths, the Department of Veterans Affairs said all of its 470 senior executives have been rated "successful" over the past four fiscal years. The ratings have sparked outrage among members of the House Committee on Veterans Affairs, whose chairman called the performance rating and bonus system at the VA "outlandish."

Friday - 06/20/2014, 03:07pm EDT

Dan Metcalfe, Adjunct Professor of Law, American University

The IRS keeps revealing more instances of lost emails of employees in its tax exempt division. This week's revelation from the House Ways and Means Committee follows Friday's disclosure that a computer crash eliminated thousands of emails from former division chief Lois Lerner. Investigators now say another six division employees had their computers crash. Two Republican lawmakers call on the Justice Department to appoint a special prosecutor to investigate the IRS. Commissioner John Koskinen faces skeptical members of Congress today. Dan Metcalfe is an American University law professor and executive director of the Collaboration on Government Secrecy. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss the records management side of this issue.

Friday - 06/20/2014, 01:22am EDT
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Lawmakers: IRS lost more emails in tea party probe

On Tuesday, two key lawmakers said the IRS has also lost emails from six additional IRS workers whose computers crashed. Among them was Nikole Flax, who was chief of staff to Lerner's boss, then-deputy commissioner Steven Miller.

Wednesday - 06/18/2014, 03:04am EDT

White House opposes House's $570B defense bill

The Obama administration said Tuesday that the bill would hamper efforts to reduce unneeded expenses and match the military to the president's defense strategy. The bill blocks another round of military base closings and spares some aircraft.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 06:48pm EDT

Gridlock: And the winner is you?

The mid-term elections are upon us, and some people are complaining about political fatigue and gridlock. But for federal and postal workers and retirees these may be the good old days, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 06/17/2014, 02:00am EDT

Steve Grundman, George Lund Fellow, Atlantic Council

House Armed Services Committee Vice Chairman Mac Thornberry is in the middle of a bipartisan effort to reform defense acquisition policies. The goal is to save money and inspire new technology development in the defense industrial base. But plenty of ideas to reform DoD acquisition have floated around Washington for years. Steve Grundman is former Deputy Defense Undersecretary for Industrial Affairs and Installations and George Lund fellow at the Atlantic Council. He shared a list of principles to finally turn those ideas into action on In Depth with Francis Rose.

Monday - 06/16/2014, 03:50pm EDT
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