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9:45 pm, July 28, 2014

Congressional Spotlight

Yevgeniy Feyman, Fellow, The Manhattan Institute

The House and Senate have both passed bills to shore up the Veterans Affairs Department. Now they are in conference to reconcile. The final bill would give veterans more opportunities to seek care outside of VA hospitals, while beefing up the VA's own medical staff. The Congressional Budget Office has scored the VA bill and estimates the expense of the additional care would be about $50 billion. Yevgeniy Feyman, fellow at the Manhattan Institute, joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss whether all the money will help.

Friday - 06/13/2014, 10:46am EDT
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Did dangerous political climate change start this week?

Does an upset in a political primary in Richmond, Virginia, mean permanent political gridlock in Washington? According to some pros, everything changed last Tuesday, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Friday - 06/13/2014, 02:00am EDT

Senate backs bill to improve health care for vets

The Senate acted Wednesday to help thousands of military veterans enduring long wait times for VA medical care, as the FBI revealed it has opened a criminal investigation into a Veterans Affairs Department reeling from allegations of falsified records and inappropriate scheduling practices.

Thursday - 06/12/2014, 03:20am EDT

Congress moving to ensure speedier care for vets

Responding to uproar over delays, House votes for speedier care for US vets; Senate is next

Wednesday - 06/11/2014, 03:52am EDT

Martin Matishak, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

Leaders of both the House and Senate pledge to move quickly on legislation to help the Veterans Affairs Department treat the more than 100,000 vets who are either waiting months for medical appointments or have been unable to see a doctor. At a House hearing late last night, a top VA official apologized for the delays, calling them indefensible. Martin Matishak, staff writer at The Hill, joined Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to discuss prospects for legislation and VA's future.

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 09:34am EDT
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The Vacation Kings return

Congress is back at work, after its most recent vacation, and members are filled with righteous indignation. Fortunately for federal workers, it isn't directed at their pay, benefits or retirement package, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tuesday - 06/10/2014, 02:00am EDT

More problems with VA scheduling systems revealed

The electronic wait system for keeping track of and monitoring initial primary-care appointments for new patients at Veterans Affairs medical facilities is not the only scheduling system at VA that's now under scrutiny. A separate system for monitoring VA patients' access to outpatient specialty care -- such as cardiologists, gastroenterologists and physical therapists is also "unreliable," according to GAO's Debra Draper, who testified before the House Veterans Affairs Committee Monday evening.

Monday - 06/09/2014, 05:21pm EDT

Legislative roundtable

Jenny Mattingley hosts a roundtable discussion of legislation on Capitol Hill that impacts federal workers.
June 6, 2014

Friday - 06/06/2014, 03:57pm EDT
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Dunford, Carter ascend to new leadership roles in Navy Department

Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel announced Gen. Joe Dunford is the new Marine Corps commandant nominee, and Rear Adm. Walter Carter Jr. has been nominated to lead the U.S. Naval Academy.

Friday - 06/06/2014, 01:20pm EDT

VA chief: 18 vets left off waiting list have died

Acting VA chief reveals 18 more Phoenix-area veterans died after being left off waiting list

Friday - 06/06/2014, 02:32am EDT

John Mahoney, Federal Employment Attorney

The House has approved a bill to give the Veterans Affairs secretary the right to fire senior executives almost at will. It's understandable members of Congress are outraged over long waiting times and falsification of records at VA hospitals, compounded by the fact that VA managers have received millions of dollars in bonuses. But it's not clear whether the proposal is legal. In our weekly legal loop segment, federal employment attorney John Mahoney spoke with Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive. He explained exactly what the House approved and who the bill affects.

Thursday - 06/05/2014, 09:00am EDT
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Republicans offer alternative VA health care bill

Legislative fixes for VA hospital, clinic patient waits piling up in Congress

Wednesday - 06/04/2014, 07:00am EDT

Erik Wasson, Staff Writer, The Hill Newspaper

Congress may seem consumed by hot-button issues like the Veterans Affairs scandal, but it is moving forward on the nitty-gritty. The House has passed a few fiscal 2015 budget bills. It's moving forward on others. In the Senate, Senate Appropriations Chair Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.) pledges: no more government on auto-pilot. Her committee will approve spending bills too. For an update on all the appropriations, Erik Wasson, a staff writer at The Hill, spoke with Tom and Emily on the Federal Drive.

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 06:53pm EDT
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Vacancy at patent office 'untenable,' senator says

Sen. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah), the ranking member of the Finance Committee, is calling on President Barack Obama to nominate a permanent director for the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO). The top spot at the patent agency has remained vacant since former director David Kappos departed the agency in February 2013. In a letter to President Barack Obama and Commerce Secretary Penny Pritzker, Hatch said the vacancy "hampers the agency's ability to influence policy and make long-term plans."

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 01:44pm EDT

Congress joins the fray as protests mount over strategic sourcing

Reps. Grace Meng and Tim Walberg introduce a provision in the Defense authorization bill to require GAO to study the impact of strategic sourcing on small businesses. GSA also is facing more than two dozen protests over its current and future office supplies contracts and now OASIS.

Tuesday - 06/03/2014, 01:29pm EDT

Senate to take up new VA bill after scandal

Vermont lawmaker to introduce remade bill to address troubled veterans' health system

Monday - 06/02/2014, 04:06pm EDT

Despite Obama directive, agencies maintain ad-hoc approach to unclassified information

Congressional report points to misuse of TSA's "sensitive security information" designation for unclassified agency data.

Friday - 05/30/2014, 12:00pm EDT
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IG concludes VA's systems, data remain at risk

The 2013 FISMA report to Congress shows the Veterans Affairs Department continues to struggle with cybersecurity and has more than 6,000 items on its plans of actions and milestones and continued weaknesses in access and configuration management controls. VA CIO Stephen Warren details several initiatives to address many of the 35 recommendations.

Friday - 05/30/2014, 04:11am EDT

With budget deadline still months away, should agencies start prepping for CR?

The Sept. 30 deadline for Congress to deliver a complete fiscal 2015 budget plan is still about four months away. But with a lengthy summer recess spanning nearly the entire month of August, that leaves fewer than 40 working days for the appropriation committees on Capitol Hill to finalize agency spending levels. That has some budget watchers already raising the possibility of a stopgap continuing resolution to fund government operations.

Thursday - 05/29/2014, 05:09pm EDT
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Tracking the 2015 budget

Congress has until Sept. 30 to deliver a complete fiscal 2015 budget plan setting agency funding levels. Track the progress of your agency's 2013 appropriations bill.

Thursday - 05/29/2014, 04:44pm EDT
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