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9:08 pm, September 1, 2014

Senate News

Lawmakers plan bipartisan push on bill to help agencies offload unnecessary property

Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), are jumpstarting a new effort to get both sides of the Capitol dome on board with a bill to make it easier for agencies to hang the "For Sale" sign outside their doors. Carper, the chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Chaffetz, a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, hosted a Capitol Hill roundtable with private-sector real-estate experts and former government officials Wednesday to discuss a new legislative path forward.

Friday - 12/06/2013, 03:26pm EST

Budget deal? Big obstacles, New Year's deadline

Obstacles on left and right for Congress' negotiators struggling to seal a federal budget deal

Friday - 12/06/2013, 10:52am EST

Will budget committee target feds' retirement contributions?

Even as mystery surrounds the work of the House-Senate budget committee negotiating over fiscal 2014 funding levels and possible alternatives to devastating across-the-board budget cuts known as sequestration, there's consensus emerging about some of the potential bargaining chips the committee is likely to use. That includes requiring federal workers to contribute more of their salaries toward their pensions.

Monday - 12/02/2013, 06:00am EST

Bill would strengthen whistleblower protections for military personnel

Four senators have introduced a bill to extend to members of the military the same whistleblower protections enjoyed by civilian agency employees. The bipartisan bill already has gained the support of one advocacy group -- the Government Accountability Project.

Monday - 11/25/2013, 01:41pm EST
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Senate proposal lops off FERS pensions for new hires

A new bill introduced by a trio of Republican senators would end the defined benefit portion of FERS coverage for new federal employees hired within six months of the bill's passage. Sponsors of the bill say the Public-Private Employee Retirement Parity Act would align federal retirement benefits more closely with those earned in the private sector.

Friday - 11/15/2013, 01:45pm EST

CBO: Congress could wring $300B in deficit savings from federal pay, pension changes

A new Congressional Budget Office analysis of proposed deficit-reduction efforts contained half a dozen proposals affecting federal employees, including reducing annual pay raises, requiring federal employees to contribute more toward their pensions and reducing the size of the federal workforce through attrition. All told, such proposals would reduce federal outlays or increase revenues by $308 billion, according to CBO estimates.

Friday - 11/15/2013, 12:30pm EST

Top priority for DHS pick: Vacancies not terrorism

Homeland Security nominee: Priorities are filling job vacancies, morale over counterterrorism

Wednesday - 11/13/2013, 05:21pm EST
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Automatic spending cuts would bite more in 2014

Automatic spending cuts largely barked about this year might bite in 2014

Tuesday - 11/12/2013, 02:40am EST

Sebelius takes GOP criticism over "Obamacare"

Sebelius: health care website needed couple of hundred fixes when repair effort began

Saturday - 11/09/2013, 08:40am EST

Mikulski seeks two-year sequestration solution

Sen. Barbara Mikulski (D-Md.), chairwoman of the Appropriations Committee, took to the Senate floor this week calling on House-Senate budget negotiators to look at replacing the across-the-board sequestration cuts for at least two years.

Friday - 11/08/2013, 12:23pm EST

Feasibility of DATA Act questioned even as Senate committee OKs it

Some agency leaders who would be charged with implementing the bill are unsure the DATA Act can be brought to life successfully. Officials said the government can improve how it makes data accessible and publishes procurement and other spending information. But the DATA Act may be asking for things that aren't pragmatically possible.

Thursday - 11/07/2013, 06:21am EST

Disability claims backlog, EHR efforts top VA nominee's priorities

At his nomination hearing before a Senate committee Tuesday, President Barack Obama's pick to serve in the Veterans Affairs Department's No. 2 management slot pledged to tackle a host of challenges plaguing the department. Sloan Gibson, the president and CEO of the nonprofit USO, told members of the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee if confirmed to be the VA's deputy director he would tackle the longstanding backlog of disability claims and will work to find common ground with the Defense Department on a new strategy for a joint electronic-health records system. The committee also considered the nominations of Linda Schwartz to be the assistant VA secretary for policy and planning and Constance Tobias to serve as the chair of VA's Board of Veterans' Appeals.

Wednesday - 11/06/2013, 03:22pm EST

Senators say embattled DHS IG slow to respond to requests for information

Two top senators on a Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs subcommittee say a delay by the acting inspector general of the Homeland Security in providing documentation is hindering the committee's investigation into allegations of nepotism and misuse of agency resources. Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) and Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), the chair and ranking member, respectively, of the Financial and Contracting Oversight subcommittee, wrote to the Deputy IG Charles Edwards Wednesday pressing him to respond to their requests for information.

Friday - 11/01/2013, 04:52pm EDT

GOP blocks Obama nominees, and Dems weigh response

GOP blocks Obama nominees for federal court, housing agency; Senate Dems assess a response

Friday - 11/01/2013, 05:48am EDT

Security clearance process ready for, in need of its next makeover

OMB is set to begin next week a 120-day review of three broad areas around security clearances. DoD and ODNI are pursuing initiatives to create a continuous evaluation process for employees with secret and top secret approvals. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee members say recent events show the process is broken.

Friday - 11/01/2013, 03:51am EDT

Changes pursued in US security clearance system

Officials pursuing revisions to security clearance system; issue arose in Navy Yard shooting

Thursday - 10/31/2013, 01:13pm EDT

In House-Senate budget talks, feds fear being familiar target

When House and Senate lawmakers kicked off formal budget negotiations this week for the first time since the government shutdown ended, both Republicans and Democrats said replacing sequestration, the blunt across-the-board budget cuts, with an alternative plan would be a top priority. The sticking point remains how to pay for it. Federal-employee unions and advocacy groups fear federal pay and benefits will once again be on the table.

Thursday - 10/31/2013, 12:51pm EDT

Lawmakers meeting in hopes of limited budget deal

GOP, Democratic lawmakers meeting in hopes of limited budget deal, but divisive issues remain

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 07:20pm EDT

Senate approves Archuleta to head OPM

The 62-35 vote comes more than five months after President Barack Obama nominated the former Labor Department chief of staff and Obama reelection campaign official to serve as the next head of the agency.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 06:56pm EDT

Senate bill calls for random background checks for clearance holders

Five senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing how the Office of Personnel Management handles the clearances of federal employees and contractors to access classified information. If enacted, the legislation would require OPM conduct random, automated reviews twice every five years of public records and databases for information about individuals with security clearances.

Wednesday - 10/30/2013, 04:55pm EDT
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