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5:49 am, July 29, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

Obama to propose 1 percent pay hike for feds in 2015

An administration official confirmed the decision to ask Congress in the fiscal 2015 budget request expected on March 4 for another slight increase.

Monday - 02/24/2014, 01:17pm EST

House revives IT reform bill with a few changes

As part of its "Stop Government Abuse Week," lower chamber lawmakers will vote on 12 bills this week to help bring more accountability and transparency to the government. An updated version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act is expected to be among them.

Monday - 02/24/2014, 04:21am EST
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White House issues new tools to fight patent trolls

Federal CTO Todd Park and other White House officials unveiled a new set of initiatives Thursday designed to help businesses and consumers avoid unnecessary and costly patent litigation.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 04:05pm EST

A $48K hit to your retirement? Pray For Gridlock!

Could political gridlock save you up to $48,000 in retirement? It could if it blocks a politically explosive plan to trim future cost-of-living adjustments for retirees, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 02/21/2014, 01:35pm EST

SES shakeup and more

Senior Executives Association President Carol Bonosaro, and Federal Timres reporters Sean Reilly and Andy Medici, will discuss legislation introduced in the U.S. House, that would make it easier for agency leaders to fire senior executives.
February 19, 2014

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 05:39pm EST
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House Dems, employee groups want Obama to chuck chained CPI

More than 100 members of the House and a dozen outside groups have signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) requesting that the upcoming White House budget not include a proposal to alter the way retirees' cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Military Officers Association of American have signed on in support of the letter.

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 02:58pm EST

House committee chairman wants VA middle managers held accountable

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.

Monday - 02/17/2014, 03:44pm EST
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Congress eyeing legislative fix for security clearances

President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 04:14pm EST

OMB tells Congress sequestration cuts aren't needed in 2014

In a new report to lawmakers, the White House determined discretionary spending fell $2 billion below the Budget Control Act caps.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 12:36pm EST

Congress clears bill ending military pension cuts

Congress passes bill reversing cuts to military pensions

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 11:24am EST

Senate clears debt limit measure for Obama

After politically treacherous vote, Senate sends Obama bill clearing way for govt to pay bills

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 03:22am EST

House bill would make it easier to fire senior execs at VA

The VA Management Accountability Act would give VA Secretary Eric Shinseki broad authority to remove Senior Executives Service (SES) members "if the secretary determines the performance of the individual warrants such removal," according to the bill. In addition to outright removal, the bill would allow the VA secretary to bump SES members down to the General Schedule at any grade level the secretary deems appropriate according to the bill.

Wednesday - 02/12/2014, 01:22pm EST

House Republicans back away from debt fight

House votes to extend Treasury's borrowing authority as Republicans drop push for concessions

Wednesday - 02/12/2014, 09:18am EST

House approves military pension bill

The House voted overwhelmingly Tuesday to restore full cost of living increases to pension benefits for younger military retirees, responding eagerly to election-year pressure from veterans groups.

Tuesday - 02/11/2014, 07:20pm EST

Background check probe zeroes in on USIS contracts

Among the issues considered Tuesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee were contracting practices at the Office of Personnel Management that allowed the largest background-investigation contactor -- accused by the Justice Department of taking improper shortcuts and defrauding the government -- to conduct quality reviews of its own work.

Tuesday - 02/11/2014, 04:24pm EST

Congress and the budget

On this week's For Your Benefit radio show, hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan discuss today's political environment and the state of affairs of the federal government budget.
February 10, 2014

Monday - 02/10/2014, 09:16am EST
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US to get approximately $17.2T debt limit Friday

The U.S. government is getting a new borrowing cap Friday, almost four months after Washington defused October's government shutdown and debt crisis.

Sunday - 02/09/2014, 12:30pm EST

Postal reform bill heading to Senate floor

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee gave its stamp of approval Thursday to a sweeping overhaul of the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service. In a bipartisan 9-1 vote, the committee approved the 2014 Postal Reform Act and sent the measure to the Senate floor. The bill, which is the brainchild of Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), presents a laundry list of proposals to revamp the financially troubled Postal Service.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 03:51pm EST

Emergency zombie warnings make Coburn's list of federal cyber failures

Sen. Tom Coburn's (R-Okla.) report on cybersecurity and critical infrastructure in the federal government examined more than 40 inspector general audits and revealed gaping holes in the security of agencies' systems.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 10:44am EST

New IRS chief says budget crunch, understaffing taking its toll

John Koskinen, sworn in as IRS commissioner in late December, has been meeting with frontline employees and crunching numbers for the last several weeks. He told Congress Wednesday that every corner of the agency is underfunded, and as a direct result, the Treasury is collecting fewer dollars than it should.

Thursday - 02/06/2014, 03:47am EST
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