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8:15 am, December 19, 2014

Senate News

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

VA hacks away at claims backlog, increases accuracy

Allison Hickey, VA's undersecretary for benefits, said VBMS has transformed the agency from a paper system to one that mostly relies on electronic data. Some lawmakers express concern about the way the agency is measuring how it reduces the number of veterans waiting for benefits.

Wednesday - 05/28/2014, 04:49am EDT
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Burwell gets committee approval for health post

Senate Finance Committee approves Burwell for health secretary, sends to full Senate

Sunday - 05/25/2014, 01:50pm EDT

Senators propose 3.3 percent federal pay hike to start in 2015

Sens. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii) introduced the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates (FAIR) Act Friday, calling for a 3.3 percent pay increase for federal employees for calendar year 2015. Federal employee union leaders praised the proposal, which would raise feds' pay more than the 1 percent President Barack Obama introduced in his 2015 budget proposal. The bill is similar to one introduced in March by House Democrats.

Friday - 05/23/2014, 03:07pm EDT

Both houses of Congress deal blows to DoD's cost-cutting proposals

The House passed its version of the annual defense authorization bill Thursday, while the Senate's is still a work in progress. Both versions mostly shun DoD's proposals to cut costs during sequestration.

Friday - 05/23/2014, 03:32am EDT
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How to make the federal workforce feel respected once again

People work better and more efficiently when they feel respected. And lately, Congress hasn't done a lot to make federal workers feel valued, says Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.) in a column written for Federal News Radio's special report, Trust Redefined: Reconnecting Government and Its Employees. But, Tester says, he has a plan to start changing that low morale.

Thursday - 05/22/2014, 04:00am EDT
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Health secretary nominee faces cordial senators

Senators pose a few pointed questions amid a cordial reception for health secretary nominee

Friday - 05/16/2014, 06:30pm EDT

Rubio: Offer all workers federal retirement plan

Rubio offers latest middle-class policy prescription to appeal to young, old

Tuesday - 05/13/2014, 09:50am EDT

Senate Republicans call for VA secretary to resign

Three Senate Republicans called Tuesday for Veterans Affairs Secretary Eric Shinseki to resign, following allegations of corruption and avoidable deaths at a veterans' hospital in Phoenix.

Tuesday - 05/06/2014, 06:42pm EDT

Military chiefs, lawmakers debate budget cuts

Congress is debating the proposed $496 billion defense budget this week, and military pay is one of many sensitive issues within that bill.

Tuesday - 05/06/2014, 01:59pm EDT

Senator wants next OMB director to be familiar with federal workforce

Sen. Jon Tester (D-Mont.), the chairman of a key congressional panel with oversight of the federal workforce says he wants President Barack Obama's pick for White House budget director to "possess a background in federal workforce and governmental oversight issues." Earlier this month, Obama nominated the current director of the Office of Management and Budget, Sylvia Burwell, to take over for Kathleen Sebelius as the head of the Health and Human Services Department.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 04:16pm EDT

Former DHS IG placed on administrative leave following release of Senate report

In a report issued Thursday, the Senate Subcommittee on Financial and Contracting Oversight, says Edwards altered or delayed reports to accommodate senior DHS officials, sought outside legal advice in violation of the laws governing agency IGs and failed to recuse himself form some audits despite concerns over conflicts of interest involving his wife, who was also employed by the agency.

Thursday - 04/24/2014, 12:52pm EDT

Beryl Davis, Government Accountability Office

Forty-one agencies don't have designated inspectors general of their own, according to Senate Financial and Contracting Oversight Subcommittee Chairman Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.). She's sponsoring a bill that focuses on these small agencies that don't have the budget or resources for their own IG. Beryl Davis, director of financial management and assurance issues at the Government Accountability Office, testified recently before the subcommittee. She tells In Depth with Francis Rose about a recent GAO report on oversight at smal federal agencies.

Monday - 04/14/2014, 06:25pm EDT
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McCaskill drafting new IG bill with focus on small agencies

Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) told a panel of agency IGs that she's currently drafting legislation that would pool together resources and establish an IG office specifically for the dozens of small agencies that fall outside the scope of the 1978 IG Act.

Thursday - 04/10/2014, 04:18pm EDT

Gen. Ray Odierno, Army Chief of Staff

The Defense Department's overall budget will shrink by a combined $900 billion by fiscal year 2021, according to Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno. He tells the Senate Armed Services Committee how the Army will absorb more than $260 billion in cuts during that span. On Pentagon Solutions, Odierno says the Pentagon is creating a Total Army Solution for the looming budget cuts.

Wednesday - 04/09/2014, 05:48pm EDT
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Max Stier, President and CEO, Partnership for Public Service

"Executive branch Swiss cheese" is what Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee calls leadership vacancies at your agency. He and ranking member, Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), are looking for ways to plug up the employment gaps at your agency. Max Stier, president and chief executive officer of the Partnership for Public Service, testified before the committee at a hearing called Management Matters: Creating a 21st Century Government. He has a list of recommendations for Congress to follow as it plans a way to modernize your agency's workforce.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 04:59pm EDT
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VA reduces disability claims backlog by 44 percent

The Veterans Affairs Department reduced the number of pending disability claims by 267,000 over the last year. Veterans are also waiting 119 days less than they did a year ago for their claims to be processed.

Tuesday - 04/01/2014, 02:56pm EDT

Senators concerned by Secret Service allegations

Senate chairman and top Republican concerned by alleged Secret Service conduct in Netherlands

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 11:10am EDT

Cuts to military pay and benefits can't wait, Pentagon tells Congress

Defense officials say they are eagerly awaiting next year's report from a congressionally-chartered commission that's currently examining military compensation. But officials say intense pressure on the top-line defense budget demands significant changes to personnel spending.

Thursday - 03/27/2014, 04:30am EDT
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