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2:26 am, December 19, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

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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Bob Silverman, president, American Foreign Service Association

Career diplomats are unhappy with certain diplomatic appointees.

Monday - 03/17/2014, 10:55am EDT
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Air Force says readiness problems will last through 2023

Air Force officials say their service already was facing readiness issues because of the high operational tempo of the Iraq and Afghanistan wars. But sequestration worsened the problems, and continuing the budget caps will set back a readiness recovery.

Monday - 03/17/2014, 06:50am EDT
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U.S. goes high-tech to help oversee Afghan aid work

The main U.S. foreign assistance agency wants to step up use of smartphones, satellite imagery and GPS cameras to oversee tax-funded development projects in Afghanistan that aid workers no longer will be able to observe firsthand as American troops leave the country.

Sunday - 03/16/2014, 11:50pm EDT

What can USPS learn from TRICARE in funding retiree health care costs?

As lawmakers consider efforts to shore up the Postal Service's financial footing, there's still widespread disagreement over whether the current requirement for the agency prefunding requirement is fiscally responsible, as Rep. Blake Farenthold (R-Texas) argued during a House Oversight and Government Reform subcommittee hearing Thursday, or an "onerous mandate" only required of the Postal Service, as Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) contended.

Friday - 03/14/2014, 02:48pm EDT

Military facilities get shorted as part of DoD's tough 2015 budget choices

The Pentagon's 2015 budget request includes sharp cuts in funding for construction and maintenance on military bases, which congressional appropriators immediately denounced. But Defense officials say they could do a better job of maintaining military bases if they were allowed to close they ones they no longer need.

Thursday - 03/13/2014, 04:14am EDT
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Senate bill would combine, eliminate 300-plus federal reports

Legislation newly introduced in the Senate proposes to scrap hundreds of unneeded, outdated or repetitive reports. The House, meanwhile, is marking up its own version of the bill.

Wednesday - 03/12/2014, 03:47pm EDT

Obama administration looks to standardize agencies' FOIA regulations

Amid a Congressional push to add new teeth to the 1966 Freedom of Information Act, federal officials insist they are taking steps on their own to make sure agencies release information to the public. Among the efforts is a move to standardize agency rules around FOIA and create a single Web portal for FOIA requests.

Wednesday - 03/12/2014, 11:29am EDT
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Momentum builds to reform the regulatory process

Senate lawmakers, White House officials and good government groups say the current way agencies develop regulations is broken. They agree it takes too long, is too complicated and not transparent enough.

Wednesday - 03/12/2014, 04:02am EDT
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Who are the winners and losers in the 2015 budget?

Cameron Leuthy, senior budget analyst at Bloomberg Government, will give us his take on the President's 2015 budget request.
March 11, 2014

Tuesday - 03/11/2014, 09:28pm EDT
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Inside the DoD Reporter's Notebook: DoD's even-more-complicated-than-usual budget request

Federal News Radio's DoD Reporter Jared Serbu offers news tidbits and buzz about the Defense Department.

Monday - 03/10/2014, 04:05am EDT

Senate blocks change to military sex assault cases

Military sexual assaults: Impassioned Senate debate but no change in the handling of cases

Friday - 03/07/2014, 04:50pm EST

Even defense hawks are pessimistic about DoD 2015 request for extra funds

The Obama administration says the Defense Department needs an additional $26 billion in excess of next year's Defense spending caps in order to carry out DoD's mission. But even the staunchest defenders of the Pentagon budget on Capitol Hill acknowledge that the extra funding is unlikely to materialize.

Friday - 03/07/2014, 03:52am EST
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Pentagon, Senate lawmakers already at odds over 2015 budget cuts

DoD's cost savings proposals for 2015 and beyond include something for every lawmaker to hate. The process of selling the budget on Capitol Hill officially kicked off Wednesday, and the reception was not exceptionally warm.

Thursday - 03/06/2014, 04:12am EST
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Former IRS official refuses to testify at hearing

Former IRS official Lois Lerner refuses to testify at House hearing on tea party targeting

Thursday - 03/06/2014, 01:22am EST

GAO seeks budget hike to restore staffing from rock-bottom levels

The Government Accountability Office is requesting about $525 million for fiscal 2015, an increase of about 4 percent, or $19 million, above current levels. The additional funding would allow the agency to continue staffing up the agency from the nearly rock-bottom levels it hit over the past few years. The additional funding would also allow GAO to make upgrades to its aging IT infrastructure and do long-deferred building upkeep and and maintenance

Wednesday - 03/05/2014, 04:33pm EST

Biennial budget process will reduce agency waste, increase congressional efficiency

Twenty states currently use biennial budgeting, with great results, says Congressman Reid Ribble. Rep. Ribble's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:00am EST

Long-term budget outlook key to fiscal success

Under the current annual budget cycle, the difficult struggle to pass appropriations bills consumes too much valuable time and effort, says Robert Bixby, executive director of The Concord Coalition. Mr. Bixby's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:00am EST

Fixing the budget problem starts with accepting the politics behind it

Adopting biennial appropriations and committing to stable funding for capital investments would go a long way towards fixing a broken budget process that is inherently political, says Bryan Clark of the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. Mr. Clark's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:00am EST

Feds should not shoulder the burden of deficit reduction

Federal employees continue to be Congress' go-to resource for deficit reduction through pay freezes and increases in their retirement contributions, according to Congressman Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.). Van Hollen's column is part of Federal News Radio's special report, Now or Never: Ideas to Save the Failing Budget Process.

Tuesday - 03/04/2014, 02:00am EST
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