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8:14 am, September 16, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

Election-year politics, pay raises & health plans

Is your 2015 pay raise going to be 1 percent or 3.3 percent? Are federal workers going to stay in their own health plans or will they be forced to move into one of the exchanges set up by the Affordable Care Act? Read Senior Correspondent Mike Causey's column for more.

Wednesday - 04/02/2014, 02:00am EDT

House budget seeks to up feds' retirement contributions

The budget blueprint unveiled by Rep. Paul Ryan (R-Wis.) Tuesday includes a handful of proposals affecting the federal workforce that Ryan and House Republicans have championed in the past. Among them, the recommendation that federal employees contribute more of their salary toward their pensions and a proposal to shrink the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 12:54pm EDT

Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.Y.)

The Littoral Combat Ship program is in turmoil as Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel sets up a task force to look at alternatives to the LCS. That task force's recommendations could include a modified LCS system, an alternative system or continuing with the LCS as-is. Rep. Rodney Frelinghuysen, chairman of the House Appropriations Defense Subcommittee, heard from leaders across the Navy and Marine Corps. In our Congressional Spotlight, he explains his concerns about the LCS.

Monday - 03/31/2014, 05:41pm EDT
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Army spends $500 million per year on vacant facilities

The Army is the first service to begin an analysis of its excess real estate after a Congressional prohibition against even studying the subject expired. Early results show up to a quarter of its stateside infrastructure isn't being used right now, and the Army will need even less as it shrinks in size.

Monday - 03/31/2014, 04:01am EDT
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Is low employee morale 'compromising' the federal government?

In the wake of across-the-board budget cuts, furloughs and slim -- or no -- annual pay raises, the top Democrat on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee says he's concerned about a nose-dive in federal-employee morale. Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) is now asking the Government Accountability Office to look into recent trends in feds' job satisfaction. The lawmakers are concerned declining satisfaction "may be compromising the federal government's ability to serve the American people."

Friday - 03/28/2014, 10:58am EDT

Another budget quandary for DoD: What if war funding dries up?

Military officials say overseas contingency operations dollars are vital to ongoing operations around the world, even after the wars end. All the services tell the House Armed Services Committee that OCO funding is helping with readiness and maintenance challenges.

Friday - 03/28/2014, 03:44am EDT
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Your 3.3 percent raise and the R Word

Is that 3.3 percent proposed federal pay raise missing an important political component? Some would say it needs the R word to be a winner, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 03/28/2014, 02:30am EDT

Cuts to military pay and benefits can't wait, Pentagon tells Congress

Defense officials say they are eagerly awaiting next year's report from a congressionally-chartered commission that's currently examining military compensation. But officials say intense pressure on the top-line defense budget demands significant changes to personnel spending.

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 04:30am EDT
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House Dems push for larger pay raise for feds

House Democrats are pushing for federal employees to get a pay raise next year that's more than three times larger than President Barack Obama proposed. A bill introduced Wednesday by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Jim Moran (D-Va.) would provide federal employees with a 3.3 percent across-the-board pay raise in 2015.

Wednesday - 03/26/2014, 10:47am EDT

Army foresees another drop in military readiness if sequestration returns

The Army says it is now replacing funds in its readiness accounts that were depleted when cuts under sequestration first kicked in a year ago. But last year's readiness problems are likely to repeat in 2016 and beyond if Congress allows the automatic Defense cuts in current law to persist.

Wednesday - 03/26/2014, 04:09am EDT
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Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.)

Congress will try again this session on cybersecurity legislation, but some of the problems that prevented it from passing the last several years are back again. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, talked to In Depth with Francis Rose about cyber legislation in his office on Capitol Hill today. He says the landscape looks a little different for the legislation this time around.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 05:58pm EDT
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Issa threatens subpoena over real property data

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the oversight committee, and John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee, want OMB to provide data to the committee on excess federal properties valued at $50 million or more. The committee has been seeking this information for more than two years, "yet these requests have consistently gone unfulfilled," Issa and Mica wrote in a March 24 letter to OMB Director Sylvia Burwell.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 05:07pm EDT

GOP lawmakers seek updated 'official time' report

Two Republican members of the House want to know how many hours federal employees are spending on union-related business while on the job. Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote to Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta urging the agency to release updated data on employees' use of "official time." The most recent year for which data is available is from 2011.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 02:37pm EDT

Jeremy Herb, Staff Writer, The Hill

The Senate Intelligence Committee will vote on whether to release key parts of its investigation into CIA interrogation tactics. A vote to publish the materials could worsen relations between the panel and the agency and force President Barack Obama to intervene. Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp spoke with Jeremy Herb, staff writer at The Hill newspaper, about what comes next.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 01:52pm EDT
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David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

Congress is back in session starting this afternoon and its schedule this week makes it look like the budget is on their minds. David Hawkings, senior editor at Roll Call and host of the Hawkings Here blog, talks to In Depth with Francis Rose about the upcoming budget battles.

Monday - 03/24/2014, 06:27pm EDT
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Peter Gosselin, senior health care analyst, Bloomberg Government

The administration considers cutting IT spending to fund Obamacare.

Friday - 03/21/2014, 10:46am EDT
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Agency FOIA officers discontent with House reform bill

The FOIA Act of 2014 would amend the Freedom of Information Act in 12 ways. It calls for the online portal and requires more oversight by agency inspectors general. But some agency FOIA officers say the bill only would improve the information disclosure process minimally.

Wednesday - 03/19/2014, 06:19am EDT
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Jeremy Herb, staff writer, The Hill

The Defense Department's civilian workforce is in Congressional crossfire.

Tuesday - 03/18/2014, 09:01am EDT
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Former CIA probers urge new investigative panel

F.A.O. Schwarz Jr., former chief counsel for the Church Commission, and more than a dozen former congressional aides urged Congress to appoint a special panel to examine the secretive operations of the CIA and the National Security Agency and their impact on Americans' civil liberties.

Tuesday - 03/18/2014, 01:38am EDT

Eric Shinseki, Secretary, Veterans Affairs Department

Cash, drugs and science experiments are all part of VA's fiscal 2015 budget request.

Monday - 03/17/2014, 04:58pm EDT
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