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Over the past few years, unimplemented agency inspector general recommendations that could potentially save the government billions of dollars have piled up. Now, with $85 billion in automatic budget cuts kicking in, lawmakers on the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee are telling agencies there's no excuse for them to further delay implementing the cost-saving measures and best practices identified by their IGs.
House Republicans unveiled a stopgap government funding measure Monday. The measure would extend the federal pay freeze and leave in place automatic sequestration cuts but would award the Defense and Veterans Affairs departments their detailed 2013 budgets while other agencies would be frozen at 2012 levels -- and then bear the across-the-board cuts. The current continuing resolution expires March 27.
Republicans unveil government funding bill that would boost military readiness, protect FBI
No budging on budget cuts: Combative Obama, Republicans blame each other at sequester deadline
The chairman of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote to 17 agencies requesting short-term ways to achieve savings instead of the across-the-board cuts expected to start today.
The administration issued new guidance late Wednesday detailing specific steps agencies should take as sequestration now is one-day away. Danny Werfel, OMB's controller, told agency leaders to place "increased scrutiny" around several personnel issues, including new hires, training, travel and conferences.
The automatic budget cuts set to occur under sequestration will go into effect as a matter of law on Friday. But their full impact won't be felt until late this spring, long after lawmakers encounter the next budget showdown.
Rep. Darrell Issa plans to formally introduce the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act before the end of March. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee held its second hearing on the draft bill. Current and former federal officials say the bill should place a stronger emphasis on project management and workforce issues.
With budget cuts imminent, Congress turning to avoiding government shutdown in less than month
A House Veterans Affairs Committee hearing on the decision by the Defense and Veterans Affairs Departments to scale back plans for a joint integrated electronic-health records systems dredged up longstanding issues with the two departments' EHR efforts.
Rep. Smith to propose bill to end automatic budget cuts while also trimming federal spending
Military leaders say automatic budget cuts will undercut ability to confront global threats
Glance: Lawmakers seek end to draft registration
House speaker says system for veterans' disability claims is broken, cites 'shameful' failures
OPM issued its fiscal 2011 Official Time report. The data shows employees, on average, spent 2.82 hours on union-related work during official hours. The cost of official time also increased by almost 12 percent.
House votes to extend pay freeze for federal workers, White House opposes
Despite a veto threat a year ago, House proponents of a cyber information sharing bill say productive talks now are underway with the Obama administration. Reps. Mike Rogers and Dutch Ruppersberger re-introduced the Cyber Intelligence Sharing and Protection Act (CISPA) trying to address privacy and civil liberties concerns.
The House Rules Committee voted to fast-track legislation extending the pay freeze for federal employees through the end of the fiscal year. Federal workers are now slated to get a 0.5 percent pay increase in March when a stopgap continuing resolution expired. However, the measure approved by the House Rules Committee, introduced by Rep. Ron DeSantis (R-Fla.), would block that increase.
The U.S. Postal Service's worsening financial situation led Postmaster General Pat Donahoe to announce last week the agency would end Saturday mail delivery beginning in August. But lawmakers on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee were divided over Donahoe's announcement. The postmaster general told the committee during a hearing Wednesday the decision was necessary to save $2 billion a year and to begin shoring up the service's funding shortfalls.
Republicans on the House and Senate Armed Services Committees have proposed an alternative to the automatic budget cuts set to go into effect next month that includes reducing the size of the federal workforce by 10 percent through attrition.