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1:56 pm, October 25, 2014

Senate News

USPS says overhauling health benefits key to postal reform

The cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service says it can return to being profitable and begin to pay down its debt if Congress gives it the authority to overhaul its health benefits structure. Postmaster General Pat Donahoe told the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Thursday that launching a postal-specific health care plan would help save the agency $8 billion annually through 2016.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 05:45pm EDT

Postmaster: Money woes behind rate hike request

Postmaster says given money woes, his agency had no choice but to ask for price increase

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 04:56pm EDT

Ayotte wants answers on A-10 cuts, blocks Air Force nominee

Sen. Kelly Ayotte (R-N.H.) has put confirmation of Deborah Lee James on hold until she gets answers about possible cuts to the A-10 Thunderbolt attack fighter fleet.

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 01:46pm EDT

Anti-shutdown bill advances; big fight still looms

Shutdown showdown looms: Unanimous Senate vote masks deep disagreements over health care law

Thursday - 09/26/2013, 03:06am EDT

McCaskill wants more oversight of SES bonuses

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) wants to know whether many of the federal government's Senior Executive Service members are deserving of the bonus payments they receive. McCaskill, who chairs a Senate subcommittee on financial and contracting oversight, wrote to the head of the Government Accountability Office, asking the watchdog agency to investigate whether bonuses paid to SES employees involved in contract management are effective tools in reducing costs or improving contract performance.

Wednesday - 09/25/2013, 06:53pm EDT

Senate clears hurdle on stopgap spending bill

Senate clears hurdle on spending bill to avert government shutdown

Wednesday - 09/25/2013, 05:30pm EDT

Coburn asks for details on year-end spending spree

OMB Director Sylvia Burwell received a letter from Sen. Tom Coburn earlier this month asking for the facts and figures on how agencies are spending acquisition funds in the fourth quarter.

Tuesday - 09/24/2013, 11:31am EDT

Here's the truth: The government doesn't shut down

The truth: Government won't shut down _ but default could delay benefit checks, troops' wages

Friday - 09/20/2013, 05:30pm EDT

Postmaster says Senate bill a good start to postal overhaul

Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe says a Senate bill aiming to overhaul the Postal Service's financial structure by providing the agency more flexibility to price its products is a good first step. Donahoe has been calling on Congress to approve comprehensive postal reform for much of the last two years. In that time, the cash-strapped agency has posted losses of $20 billion and defaulted on more than $11 billion in payments to prefund retiree health care costs. USPS is set to default on a $5.6 billion payment due Sept. 30 payment, Donahoe said.

Thursday - 09/19/2013, 06:00pm EDT

Senators seek probe into how Navy shooter got clearance

Key senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee are seeking answers into how the contractor employee responsible for the mass shooting at the Washington Navy Yard that killed 12 people obtained his security clearance. In a Sept. 18 letter, Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Jon Tester (D-Mont.), requested the Office of Personnel Management's inspector general look into what type of clearance the shooter, identified as 34-year-old Aaron Alexis, held as well as what federal agency conducted his background investigation.

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 04:20pm EDT

Bill puts contract spending on the hook if Pentagon misses audit deadline

New legislation introduced by Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) pushes the Pentagon toward being ready for a full financial audit by restricting spending on major weapons programs if DoD fails to get its books in order.

Wednesday - 09/18/2013, 02:22pm EDT

In budget faceoff, Obama warns of 'economic chaos'

A potential federal shutdown looming, President Barack Obama on Monday warned congressional Republicans they could trigger national "economic chaos" if they demand a delay of his health care law as the price for supporting continued spending for federal operations.

House Republican leaders were to meet Tuesday in hopes of finding a formula that would avoid a shutdown on Oct. 1.

Tuesday - 09/17/2013, 11:52am EDT

Push for more federal data transparency gaining momentum on Capitol Hill

House leaders say the DATA Act has a good chance at becoming law this session. Support for the bill from the Senate and the White House seems to be increasing.

Wednesday - 09/11/2013, 11:50am EDT
Listen

Syria adds to Congress' already heavy fall agenda

Still unsure how to meet budget and debt-limit deadlines, Congress now confronts Syria choice

Monday - 09/09/2013, 05:14pm EDT

Bill Tracker 2013: Proposals affecting fed pay, benefits and more

There's been no shortage of legislation introduced this year affecting the federal workforce. Federal News Radio's Bill Tracker follows the bills that would affect federal pay and benefits, the size of the workforce and more.

Monday - 09/09/2013, 03:57pm EDT

Congress' to-do list crowded with budget headaches

Congress returns to work today with a crowded agenda and little time. Lawmakers must come to agreement on 2014 funding before the fiscal year ends Sept. 30 or risk a government shutdown. Also on the agenda: coming up with an alternative to the automatic spending constraints known as sequestration and negotiating a raise in the government's borrowing limit. There are also other measures affecting federal employees that remain to be worked out, including legislation to overhaul the cash-strapped Postal Service and a potential 1 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers.

Friday - 09/06/2013, 06:50pm EDT

Next front in fight against improper payments? Stopping payments to dead people

Senators on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee have opened a new legislative salvo in the fight against improper payments: helping agencies stop payments to dead people. The new legislation, introduced by Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) the chairman and ranking member, respectively, of the committee would allow all federal agencies to access basic death data maintained by the Social Security Administration and require they use it to curb improper payments

Friday - 08/30/2013, 03:10pm EDT
Listen

Obama signs bill easing airport screening for vets

Obama signs bill to ease airport screening for wounded or disabled troops and vets

Saturday - 08/10/2013, 10:40pm EDT

Serious doubts remain about VA's ability to secure veterans' data

A recent briefing between the House Veterans Affairs Committee, VA IT executives and DHS ended with the lead majority staff member walking out before the meeting ended. The rising tensions between the House Veterans Affairs committee's majority and VA come as a report surfaced showing veterans are at a higher risk of identity theft than the average citizen.

Wednesday - 08/07/2013, 08:32pm EDT
Listen

OPM provision defines how Congress, staff receive health benefits in 2014

Congress and some congressional staff members will no longer be eligible for the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program, when The Affordable Care Act goes in to effect in January. OPM explains what that means.

Wednesday - 08/07/2013, 04:07pm EDT
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