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6:19 pm, November 25, 2014

House News

GSA, Treasury officials decry House committee budget shortfalls

Top officials at the Treasury Department and the General Services Administration say budget cuts being considered by House lawmakers - and that have since adopted by the House Appropriations Committee - would erode their agencies' missions. In sharply divided vote mostly along partisan lines Wednesday, the committee approved the fiscal 2014 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bill.

Thursday - 07/18/2013, 06:25pm EDT

Postal Service reform making significant progress in House

In the past few weeks, competing draft proposals have been circulating on Capitol Hill. But at a House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing Wednesday, Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) took a step toward compromise. Issa agreed to make changes to his draft plan, including adopting several measures proposed by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings (D-Md.) in postal reform legislation he separately introduced Wednesday.

Wednesday - 07/17/2013, 09:01pm EDT

House proposal gives VA's budget process a facelift

House Veterans Affairs Committee Ranking Member Rep. Mike Michaud (D-Maine) introduced a bill to establish quadrennial reviews and a five-year plan for VA's budget. The bill also would designate a chief strategy officer to oversee budgetary planning.

Wednesday - 07/17/2013, 08:15pm EDT

House again aims to merge E-Gov funding

The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government passed the fiscal 2014 appropriations bill with a provision to merge the E-Government Fund and the Federal Citizen Services Fund to create an Information and Engagement Fund for citizens. Appropriators also would cut the total request for the merged funds by about $15 million.

Tuesday - 07/16/2013, 07:14pm EDT

Labor's FECA benefits proposal gets push back from House

Members of the House have doubts about the Labor Department's proposal to set a uniform benefit rate for FECA beneficiaries. A GAO study found that such propositions will decrease benefits to injured workers with dependents. FECA benefits would also align more closely with Federal Employees Retirement System (FERS) benefits once injured workers reach retirement age.

Thursday - 07/11/2013, 06:56pm EDT

Will DoD's 2014 sequestration plan jolt Congress into action?

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel put the ball in Congress' court this week when he released details of how the Pentagon would manage billions of dollars in cuts if sequestration continues into fiscal 2014 and beyond. But, there's not yet anything close to a winning strategy in Congress to avert or replace the automatic budget cuts.

Thursday - 07/11/2013, 06:31pm EDT
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DoD, VA reassure Congress of continued growth of health data sharing

House Armed Services and Veterans Affairs committees inserted a provision in the fiscal 2014 Defense Authorization Bill requiring DoD and VA to have an interoperable health record system by 2017. Agency officials say they already are and will continue to share health care data, but having one integrated, interoperable health care management system is no longer necessary.

Thursday - 07/11/2013, 05:29am EDT
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Charities bristle at OPM's proposed changes to CFC program

The Office of Personnel Management's proposed changes to the Combined Federal Campaign, the annual federal fundraising drive, are getting a frosty reception from local charities. OPM wants to do away with the local volunteer coordinating committees and put in place a set of more centralized regional committees established by OPM. It also wants to require charities to pay an application fee and eliminate cash and check donations in favor of electronic donations. However, some charities say the proposed changes would likely lead to fewer charities joining the program -- and fewer total donations.

Wednesday - 07/10/2013, 07:57pm EDT

Air Force pulls sexual assault prevention brochure

The Air Force has pulled a brochure circulated at a South Carolina base after a lawmaker complained about some objectionable advice to sexual assault victims.

Wednesday - 07/10/2013, 02:52am EDT

House subcommittee approves 24 percent cut to IRS budget

The embattled Internal Revenue Service faces a 24 percent cut to its budget next year, under a spending plan introduced by the House Appropriations Committee Tuesday. The IRS funding was included in the committee's Financial Services and General Government Appropriations bill, which also includes funding for the Treasury Department, the General Services Administration and the Executive Office of the President. The subcommittee is set to mark up the proposal Wednesday.

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 08:35pm EDT

Lerner case shows legal complications when federal workers are required to testify

House Republicans said IRS official Lois Lerner waived her right to remain silent by giving an opening statement in her hearing. Lerner still may testify before Congress with a variety of consequences.

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 03:49pm EDT
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House committee, VA clash over requests for data

House committee uses website to chronicle what it describes as lack of transparency at VA

Tuesday - 07/09/2013, 03:48pm EDT

House members push to let PTO offset sequester cuts

House members with constituents impacted by budget cuts to the Patent and Trademark Office and Department of Defense are taking steps to ease the effect of sequestration and furloughs.

Monday - 07/08/2013, 06:34pm EDT

Sequestration snarling 2014 budget process

The annual appropriations process is a complex and arduous Washington practice. But sequestration has snarled the process this year. As appropriators work to set agency funding, the House and the Senate disagree about how to account for the cuts in next year's spending plans.

Sunday - 07/07/2013, 09:48pm EDT

House panel pressing IRS figure to talk

House panel pressing IRS figure who refused to testify to return for more questions

Saturday - 06/29/2013, 12:20pm EDT

IRS severing ties with firm amid $500 million in questionable contracts

The Internal Revenue Service said Wednesday it is seeking to cut its business relationship with a firm that may have had inside access to the agency's procurement decisions. Lawmakers also questioned agency decisions to award the company special status as veteran-owned and serving economically-disadvantaged areas.

Thursday - 06/27/2013, 05:27am EDT
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Hoyer pessimistic about 2014 budget road ahead

House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) said recently he believes there will be a continuing resolution for fiscal 2014. He said the inability for the parties to compromise is the key reason budget bills have not gone to conference.

Tuesday - 06/25/2013, 03:38pm EDT
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VA 'surge' closes out 97 percent of oldest disability claims

The Veterans Affairs Department made it a top priority earlier this year to handle all disability claims from veterans who've been waiting two years or longer. The department mostly succeeded in its two-month surge operation, but serious questions linger about the sustainability of the backlog elimination effort.

Friday - 06/21/2013, 05:30am EDT
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Postal Service closing Capitol Hill post offices in 'symbolic' move

USPS issued final determinations Wednesday to close three Capitol Hill post offices by July 21, which is expected to save about $2 million over the next 10 years. That's only a drop in the bucket in the agency's stretched-thin budget, but top House Republicans on the Administration and Oversight and Government Reform Committees hailed the move for sending a strong message.

Wednesday - 06/19/2013, 04:57pm EDT

As VA works to eliminate one backlog, one more might emerge

Under intense congressional and media pressure, VA has moved aggressively to eliminate its backlog of new claims for disability benefits. But veterans who appeal VA's decisions are still waiting years, on average.

Wednesday - 06/19/2013, 10:06am EDT
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