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7:39 pm, July 24, 2014

House News

Issa threatens subpoena over real property data

Reps. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), the chairman of the oversight committee, and John Mica (R-Fla.), chairman of the Government Operations subcommittee, want OMB to provide data to the committee on excess federal properties valued at $50 million or more. The committee has been seeking this information for more than two years, "yet these requests have consistently gone unfulfilled," Issa and Mica wrote in a March 24 letter to OMB Director Sylvia Burwell.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 05:07pm EDT

GOP lawmakers seek updated 'official time' report

Two Republican members of the House want to know how many hours federal employees are spending on union-related business while on the job. Reps. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.) and Phil Gingrey (R-Ga.) wrote to Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta urging the agency to release updated data on employees' use of "official time." The most recent year for which data is available is from 2011.

Tuesday - 03/25/2014, 02:37pm EDT

Peter Gosselin, senior health care analyst, Bloomberg Government

The administration considers cutting IT spending to fund Obamacare.

Friday - 03/21/2014, 10:46am EDT
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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

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Legislation newly introduced in the Senate proposes to scrap hundreds of unneeded, outdated or repetitive reports.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

House committee OKs bill making TSP's L Funds the default for new hires

New Thrift Savings Plan participants would be automatically enrolled in an age-appropriate Lifecycle Fund -- instead of the G Fund -- under a bill set to be debated Wednesday by the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Smart Savings Act, introduced by the committee's chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), is supported by the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board.

Tuesday - 03/11/2014, 04:14pm EDT

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

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

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

Will IRS budget pleas be ignored in Congress?

IRS Commissioner John Koskinen told members of the House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government that budget and staffing reductions are impacting the agency's core missions of customer service and tax collection. The agency projects it will only be able to answer 61 percent of phone calls this year, meaning some 20 million phone calls will go unanswered. Meanwhile, taxpayers attempting to reach IRS offices are facing wait times that stretch past 20 minutes.

Thursday - 02/27/2014, 04:18pm EST

Rep. Graves tries again to increase small business contracting goals

The chairman of the Small Business Committee plans to introduce two bills today. One will increase the governmentwide small business prime contracting goal to 25 percent from 23 percent. The other focuses on contract bundling and data transparency.

Wednesday - 02/26/2014, 09:04am EST

Draft bill would force DHS to change acquisition practices

Rep. Jeff Duncan releases a discussion draft of a bill to add more discipline and oversight to the Homeland Security Department's acquisition process.

Tuesday - 02/25/2014, 03:42am EST
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House revives IT reform bill with a few changes

As part of its "Stop Government Abuse Week," lower chamber lawmakers will vote on 12 bills this week to help bring more accountability and transparency to the government. An updated version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act is expected to be among them.

Monday - 02/24/2014, 04:21am EST
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SES shakeup and more

Senior Executives Association President Carol Bonosaro, and Federal Timres reporters Sean Reilly and Andy Medici, will discuss legislation introduced in the U.S. House, that would make it easier for agency leaders to fire senior executives.
February 19, 2014

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 05:39pm EST
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House Dems, employee groups want Obama to chuck chained CPI

More than 100 members of the House and a dozen outside groups have signed on to a letter to President Barack Obama from Rep. Allyson Schwartz (D-Pa.) requesting that the upcoming White House budget not include a proposal to alter the way retirees' cost-of-living adjustments are calculated. The National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, the American Federation of Government Employees and the Military Officers Association of American have signed on in support of the letter.

Wednesday - 02/19/2014, 02:58pm EST

House committee chairman wants VA middle managers held accountable

Rep. Jeff Miller (R-Fla.) is the author of new legislation that would make it easier for the Veterans Affairs Department to fire its senior executives. Miller, chairman of the House Veterans Affairs Committee, says the agency is too shy about cutting loose middle managers who are performing poorly.

Monday - 02/17/2014, 03:44pm EST
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Congress eyeing legislative fix for security clearances

President Barack Obama signed the OPM IG Act into law this week. The law provides the agency's top watchdog with an additional source of funding to conduct audits and investigations of the security-clearance process.

Thursday - 02/13/2014, 04:14pm EST
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