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3:28 am, October 24, 2014

Senate News

USPS: We will default on $5.5B payment due this week

The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency's solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink. With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees' health benefits - $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September - will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday.

Monday - 07/30/2012, 05:48pm EDT
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Bill demanding details on sequestration heads to President's desk

Legislation forcing the White House to explain how the across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration will affect individual agencies is now waiting for President Barack Obama's signature. The Senate unanimously approved the Sequestration Transparency Act of 2012 Wednesday, which requires the administration to detail within 30 days how the $1.2 trillion over 10 years in automatic cuts will be applied. The House passed its version of the bill last week in a 414-2 vote.

Thursday - 07/26/2012, 03:36pm EDT

U.S. sales to Russia poised for boost under WTO

Senate Bill 3285 would grant Russia permanent normal trade status, requiring the U.S. to provide Russia with tariff and trade treatment that's no less beneficial than what the U.S. applies to any other country with the same status.

Thursday - 07/26/2012, 12:08pm EDT
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Senate panel backs bill to stem security leaks

The Senate Intelligence committee has approved legislation designed to clamp down on national security leaks as Republicans accuse the administration of intentionally disclosing classified information to burnish President Barack Obama's image in an election year.

Wednesday - 07/25/2012, 03:15pm EDT

Analyst calls Senate cybersecurity bill inadequate

In a report from the Heritage Foundation, analyst Paul Rosenzweig said the bill still is intrusive, provides little liability protection for private owners and the proposed incentives would make the standards mandatory, not voluntary as lawmakers have claimed.

Tuesday - 07/24/2012, 09:48am EDT

Ethics nominee asks Congress to change insider trading law

Walter Shaub Jr. said the STOCK Act could cause unintended consequences for federal employees' privacy and safety. Shaub said he favors revisions aimed at striking a balance between the need to protect personal information and the law's requirement to disclose stock trades.

Monday - 07/23/2012, 06:13am EDT
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Senators tell DoJ to fix its suspension, debarment databases

Sens. Joseph Lieberman (I-Conn.) and Susan Collins (R-Maine) want regular updates from Justice officials on the steps they are taking to better input and share information on vendors who have committed crimes. The DoJ IG found the agency's internal controls and training were lacking.

Monday - 07/23/2012, 05:12am EDT
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Senators try compromise to get cyber bill passed

The revised Cybersecurity Act of 2012 removes DHS from having sole oversight authority of critical infrastructure and shares the responsibility across an interagency council. The bill also would make the implementation of cyber standards by critical infrastructure operators voluntary. The legislation encourages an incentive-based program.

Friday - 07/20/2012, 05:28am EDT

FERC goes back to Congress again for more cyber oversight

The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission said it needs authority to enforce cybersecurity standards. The agency also wants Congress to expand its jurisdiction over electric grid operators.

Thursday - 07/19/2012, 05:12am EDT
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Senate expected to vote on cybersecurity bill next week

Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid is expected to bring a stalled cybersecurity bill up for a floor vote by the end of next week. Lawmakers are still haggling over the final details but the bill's sponsor, Sen. Joe Lieberman, believes he'll have enough votes to pass the revised bill that includes compromises lessening the impact for private industry.

Wednesday - 07/18/2012, 05:00pm EDT

Sea Treaty all but dead, 34 GOP senators oppose

A treaty governing the high seas is all but dead in the Senate as two Republican senators announced their opposition Monday, giving conservative foes the necessary votes to scuttle the pact.

Monday - 07/16/2012, 03:53pm EDT

US government records $904.2B deficit through June

The U.S. budget deficit grew by nearly $60 billion in June, remaining on track to exceed $1 trillion for the fourth straight year.

Thursday - 07/12/2012, 04:10pm EDT

2 senators urge adoption of cybersecurity bill

Sen. Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.) said the United States is under cyber attack and that cybersecurity was a matter of national security.

Thursday - 07/12/2012, 10:35am EDT

Senators quiz defense companies on sequestration

Letter, sent to 15 large vendors, asks for estimated impacts of sequestration on defense contractors.

Friday - 07/06/2012, 11:55am EDT

Agency performance reporting lags under wasteful spending initiative

A report by the Congressional Research Service finds it's not clear whether agencies are meeting performance goals set out a June 2011 executive order to make the federal government more efficient and accountable.

Tuesday - 07/03/2012, 08:48am EDT

DOJ IG called to investigate whistleblowers' safety

Lawmakers ask for DoJ's IG to investigate the effectiveness of the agency's efforts to protect the whistleblowers in the Fast and Furious case. After alleged negative and potential threatening comments by an ATF official, lawmakers are concerned if the motive is vindictive.

Monday - 07/02/2012, 08:45pm EDT

Congress passes student loans, highway jobs bill

The bill sent for President Barack Obama's signature enables just over $100 billion to be spent on highway, mass transit and other transportation programs over the next two years, projects that would have expired Saturday without congressional action.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 08:26pm EDT

Senate approves Obama choice to lead NRC

Geologist Allison Macfarlane will replace Gregory Jaczko, who announced his resignation last month after a tumultuous three-year tenure.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 04:53pm EDT

Mass-transit subsidy not in highway bill, but not dead yet

A tax break for mass-transit riders is not part of the transportation reauthorization bill Congress passed Friday.

Friday - 06/29/2012, 03:35pm EDT

Senate committee makes quick work of real property, Hatch Act bills

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee approved six bills that would affect the day-to-day workings of the federal government.

Thursday - 06/28/2012, 06:27am EDT
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