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12:22 pm, July 28, 2014

Senate News

GSA praised for steps to reform culture, organization

Senate lawmakers and the agency's Inspector General say the strategy to reorganize the General Services Administration and make it more accountable is on the right track. Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini said he will consolidate IT and HR across the agency, and reduce contracting fees charged by the Federal Acquisition Service.

Thursday - 09/13/2012, 06:33am EDT
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GSA to centralize oversight of IT, HR after top-to-bottom review

Acting Administrator Dan Tangherlini will tell Senate lawmakers today about his plans to continue reforming the agency in the aftermath of the Western Regions Conference scandal. Along with consolidating CIO and human resources offices, Tangherlini wants the Federal Acquisition Service to reduce its fees. Federal News Radio has obtained an exclusive copy of Tangherlini's testimony.

Wednesday - 09/12/2012, 06:01am EDT

Six-month CR makes extension of fed pay freeze official

The six-month stopgap spending bill unveiled by the House Appropriations Committee this week officially continues the federal pay freeze until at least March. The continuing resolution, which runs through March 27, gives lawmakers more time to make appropriations for the coming year and staves off the threat of a government shutdown. When a broad CR was first announced last month, the full Congress had not yet approved any fiscal 2013 spending bills. President Barack Obama proposed last month a 0.5 percent pay raise that would only take effect once Congress passed a 2013 budget a de facto extension of the current two-year freeze. The CR makes the extension official.

Tuesday - 09/11/2012, 08:37pm EDT

13 defense executives bemoan uncertainty of cuts

Defense industry executives criticize the impending sequestration, which they say would lead to the loss of more than 1 million defense-related jobs.

Tuesday - 09/11/2012, 09:02am EDT

Congress faces continuing resolution, sequestration and postal reform

Lawmakers returned to Washington, D.C., this week with a packed agenda. Topping the list of priorities is hammering out final details of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year -- Sept. 30. Amid the election-year politicking, the list of unfinished business also includes legislation to restructure the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service and a cybersecurity bill that aims to safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure. Perhaps looming largest of all is what Congress plans to do about automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. Failure to avert the cuts could send the country over a "fiscal cliff," budget experts warn.

Monday - 09/10/2012, 06:47pm EDT

White House misses deadline to deliver sequestration report, says plan coming next week

The White House plans to deliver a report to Congress late next week detailing how automatic, across-the-board cuts, set to take effect in January, will affect specific programs. The report is required under the Sequestration Transparency Act, which Congress overwhelmingly passed this summer and which the President signed on Aug. 7. The law directed the President to issue the detailed report within 30 days of signing it - a deadline that came this week and went unmet.

Friday - 09/07/2012, 03:19pm EDT

Senate committee questions GSA IG about investigation tactics

In a routine pre-hearing briefing call, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee staff members asked Brian Miller about his staff's decision to knock on a GSA employee's door after 11 p.m. at the SmartPay conference last month. Miller and acting GSA Administrator Dan Tangherlini are scheduled to testify Sept. 12 before the committee on changes the agency has made in light of the conference spending scandals.

Thursday - 09/06/2012, 05:52pm EDT

Democrats urge immediate repair of Capitol Dome

Senate Democrats are calling for $61 million to fix the U.S. Capitol Dome, which has fallen into disrepair and has at least 1,300 cracks in it. Sen. Charles Schumer (D-N.Y.) calls the state of the dome a "national embarrassment."

Monday - 08/27/2012, 03:41pm EDT

OMB: Spending bills exceed budget caps, could trigger cuts

Spending levels appropriated by Congress, so far, for fiscal 2013 fail to live within the limits set by last year's Budget Control Act (BCA), the Office of Management and Budget said in a report issued Monday. If Congress fails to adhere to the annual limits, OMB is required to enact automatic cuts to bring them back into balance, Acting OMB Director Jeffrey Zients wrote in a letter to President Barack Obama that preceded OMB's report.

Tuesday - 08/21/2012, 05:57pm EDT

Senators sound defense budget alarm in North Vegas

A trio of Republican senators sounded the alarm over billions of dollars' worth of "catastrophic" and "draconian" military budget cuts set to take effect in January, telling an audience Monday that more time was needed for negotiations.

Monday - 08/13/2012, 09:02pm EDT

Senators ask DoD to consider debarment for P&WC

Sens. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) sent a letter to the Defense Secretary Panetta and Secretary of State Clinton asking them to consider further actions against contractor Pratt & Whitney Canada. P&WC pleaded guilty in June to illegally exporting military software to China.

Monday - 08/13/2012, 10:39am EDT

Obama may act to stop infrastructure cyberattacks

President Barack Obama may use his authority to issue orders compelling or encouraging private industry to meet minimum security standards to protect their computer networks from attacks by hackers or foreign governments, White House counterterrorism adviser John Brennan said Wednesday.

Wednesday - 08/08/2012, 06:39pm EDT

Major changes to performance management in OMB budget guidance

The White House issued the updated Circular A-11 guidance for the 2014 budget development. The performance management section includes some of the most significant changes. In an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio, OMB's Shelley Metzenbaum said agencies have a multi-year plan to improve programs and accountability.

Wednesday - 08/08/2012, 05:05am EDT
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Senate fails to approve cybersecurity legislation

The Senate failed Thursday to pass legislation to protect the U.S. electrical grid, water supplies and other critical industries from cyberattack and electronic espionage, despite dire warnings from top national security officials about the potential for devastating assaults on American computer networks.

Thursday - 08/02/2012, 03:23pm EDT

Debate over private sector role stymies Senate cyber bill

A battle over the role companies should play in keeping the U.S. safe from cyber attacks threatens to kill cybersecurity legislation in the Senate

Wednesday - 08/01/2012, 07:59am EDT

Bill to cut Senate confirmations gets final action

The House gave final congressional approval Tuesday to a bill that would save the slow-paced Senate some time by eliminating the need for confirming nominees to some 170 executive branch jobs and 3,000 military officer positions.

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 10:06pm EDT

OMB to begin planning for sequestration

Faced with congressional inaction in averting looming across-the-board cuts that take effect in January, the Office of Management and Budget will begin meeting with agency leaders to discuss how the cuts will be implemented. In a memo to agency heads, OMB Director Jeff Zients said his office will consult with agencies to determine which budget accounts and programs are exempt from sequestration.

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 06:20pm EDT

Reid, Boehner announce stopgap spending deal

The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends on Sept. 30. The announcements by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP House Speaker John Boehner are aimed at averting any chance of a government shutdown this fall. The leaders said an official vote on the bill won't come until September.

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 04:56pm EDT

House OKs bill allowing agencies to boot tax-delinquent feds

The House voted 263-116 to approve the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act and send it to the Senate. The measure would make those are who are seriously delinquent ineligible for federal employment, whether they're working for the government now or are applying for a job. The House will also vote on final passage of a bill Wednesday to curb misuse of government charge cards.

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 11:46am EDT

Lawmakers find ways to avoid another TSP cyber breach

Remember the recent cyber attack on more than 100,000 Thrift Savings Plan participants? It's been out of the headlines lately, but lawmakers haven't forgotten about it.

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 07:58am EDT
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