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1:41 am, May 7, 2015

Congressional Spotlight

McCain pushes greater role for military service chiefs to fix acquisition

Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.), the new chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee, said his committee has more work to do before it draws up a broad acquisition reform package. But one element will be a more full-throated role for the uniformed military.

Thursday - 01/29/2015, 04:36am EST
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DoD's proposals aim to simplify 'mindboggling' acquisition rules

Frank Kendall, the undersecretary of Defense for acquisition, technology and logistics, told the House Armed Services Committee that a bunch of incremental changes could help DoD find success with its acquisitions more often. The seven legislative proposals address redundant documents and processes that the military needs help from Congress to get rid of and give program managers more time.

Thursday - 01/29/2015, 04:10am EST
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Attorney General nominee defends Obama immigration changes

Confronting skeptical Republicans, attorney general nominee Loretta Lynch pledged a new start with Congress and independence from President Barack Obama Wednesday, even as she defended the president's unilateral protections for millions of immigrants in the country illegally.

Thursday - 01/29/2015, 03:24am EST

Phased retirement: Is it coming to your agency?

Julie Perkins, partner at Shaw Bransford and Roth will answer your questions about phased retirement, and Federal Times Senior Writer Andy Medici will give us an update on a new round of legislation that affects federal workers.
January 28, 2015

Wednesday - 01/28/2015, 09:16pm EST
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Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.), Chairman, House Veterans Affairs Committee

Bonuses went to some employees of the Department of Veterans Affairs who later got caught up in the wait time scandal, and other incidents at the agency. The congressman who sponsored the bill that makes it easier to fire SESers at VA wants to go after those bonuses now. Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said seeing results from the VA Management Accountability Act of 2014 (the firing bill that President Barack Obama signed late last year) won't happen overnight.

Wednesday - 01/28/2015, 04:17pm EST
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Pentagon docs: Obama to request big Pentagon budget hike

Pentagon documents: Obama to request big Pentagon spending hike

Wednesday - 01/28/2015, 06:50am EST

John Palguta, Vice President, Partnership for Public Service

The Obama Administration has two years to go two years with a Republican-led Congress. Some might assume not a lot will be done in these two years. "Oh contrare," says John Palguta, vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain further.

Tuesday - 01/27/2015, 10:30am EST
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David Hawkings, senior editor, Roll Call

Increased oversight will be a top priority for new Senate Judiciary Committee Chairman Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa). He said oversight can change the federal government faster than legislation. David Hawkings is Senior Editor of Roll Call. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he described Chairman Grassley's plan for the Judiciary committee, and what other chairs might have in store for the agencies they oversee.

Monday - 01/26/2015, 05:04pm EST
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Rep. Randy Forbes (R-Va.), House Armed Services Committee

Both the House and Senate Armed Services committees are setting their hearing agendas for the 114th Congress. Both have new leaders, but many of the problems they'll deal with have been around for a long time. On In Depth with Francis Rose, Chairman Randy Forbes (R-Va.) of the House Armed Services Subcommittee on Seapower and Projection Forces says carrying momentum into future Congresses could be one of the most important achievements of this Congress.

Monday - 01/26/2015, 04:46pm EST
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Independent assessment gives VA's cybersecurity positive mark

Mandiant issued a report finding the Veterans Affairs Department network domain controllers had no evidence of data theft, such as the loss of credentials, personal information or personal health information or VA sensitive information. But some congressional sources are skeptical of Mandiant's findings, calling it too narrow to be sure the network and veterans data is safe.

Monday - 01/26/2015, 03:35am EST
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No sequestration cuts in 2015, OMB says

A new report from OMB stated the discretionary spending budget caps for defense and non-defense categories matched or came in less than what's called for in the Budget Control Act.

Friday - 01/23/2015, 12:36pm EST

House bill would reduce SES pensions at VA

House Veterans Affairs Committee Chairman Jeff Miller wants new ways to punish SES members accused of misconduct, including possible pension reductions, limits on paid leave. He also wants to curtail VA's bonus award system.

Friday - 01/23/2015, 07:46am EST

VA seeks Army Corps of Engineers' help after construction failures

VA will seek at least $1.1 billion from Congress to rescue a Denver hospital project that was supposed to cost $600 million. The final price tag won't be known for several more months. VA also asked the Army Corps to conduct a complete examination of its major construction programs across the country.

Friday - 01/23/2015, 04:56am EST
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Fearless forecast

NARFE Legislative Director Jessica Klement and Federal Times Senior Writer Andy Medici will predict what's ahead for federal workers and retirees in 2015.
January 21, 2015

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 08:07pm EST
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Alex Ward, Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security, Atlantic Council

Almost all the pieces are in place to move some meaningful defense acquisition reform. Sen. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas) are the new chairmen of the Armed Services committees in Congress, and they both have a body of work in that subject. Deputy Defense Secretary Robert Work and Under Secretary of Defense for Acquisition, Technology and Logistics, Frank Kendall, are on board with an acquisition overhaul. And the likely nomination of Ash Carter as the new Defense Secretary puts the man behind the Better Buying Power concept at the top job of the Pentagon. Alex Ward is assistant director of the Brent Scowcroft Center on International Security at the Atlantic Council. He's also my guest for Pentagon Solutions today. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he said the anticipation for reform is mostly just hype.

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 04:22pm EST
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House bills slash federal workforce, start possible hiring freeze

A collection of new House bills aim to slash the federal workforce, let go of 120,000 civilian employees at the Pentagon and take back top secret security clearances for contractors in the intelligence community.

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 04:13pm EST

Ash Carter may face 'rocky' confirmation hearing for Defense secretary

Despite bipartisan support and years of experience in the Defense Department, Ash Carter's confirmation hearing to be Defense secretary might not be smooth sailing.

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 11:43am EST
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Questions and answers about the State of the Union address

Questions and answers about an almost annual Washington rite: the State of the Union address

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 04:50am EST

Beyond cyber, feds need to read between SOTU lines

President Barack Obama focused little on improving government management in his annual speech to Congress. Obama called on Congress to pass cyber legislation and said the administration will release a new report on surveillance and privacy safeguards.

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 04:42am EST

New House Armed Services Committee chair vows DoD reform agenda, starting with acquisition

Rep. Mac Thornberry (R-Texas), incoming chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, says defense acquisition reform is an essential element of his agenda. But the approach will be slow and steady.

Wednesday - 01/21/2015, 03:48am EST
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