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4:58 am, October 26, 2014

Senate News

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

Will new budget negotiations unravel the sequestration riddle?

For the first time since the government shutdown ended two weeks ago, House and Senate lawmakers are sitting down at the table to negotiate about the fiscal 2014 budget. At the top of the agenda will be what to do about the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration that have ensnared what remained of the traditional budget process this year. However, budget experts and insiders say sequestration is likely to stick around -- at least in some form -- and about the best agencies can hope for is a small-bore deal that grants them some greater flexibility in implementing the cuts, these experts said.

Tuesday - 10/29/2013, 03:12pm EDT

Both sides agree: No major budget deal foreseen

Both sides agree: No 'grand bargain' budget agreement in upcoming congressional negotiations

Sunday - 10/27/2013, 01:16am EDT

Obama lashes Republicans as government reopens

Government reopens after 16-day shutdown; Obama accuses Republicans of damaging US economy

Friday - 10/18/2013, 05:56pm EDT

Cobert takes her place as OMB's deputy director for management

Beth Cobert is on the job as the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget. The Senate confirmed Cobert and 24 other nominees late Wednesday night.

Friday - 10/18/2013, 05:27pm EDT

Ayotte lifts hold on Air Force nominee

Sen. Kelly Ayotte has ended her hold on President Barack Obama's nominee for Air Force secretary, clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Deborah Lee James.

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 06:30pm EDT

Funding bill includes back pay for furloughed feds, clears way for potential January pay raise

The bill passed by Congress reopening the federal government after a two-week shutdown grants retroactive pay for furloughed federal workers and clears the way for all federal employees to receive a 1 percent pay raise in January. The continuing resolution, which funds government operations through Jan. 15, also grants agencies some spending flexibilities to avoid sequestration-related furloughs over the next few months.

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 12:06pm EDT

Congress votes to end shutdown, avoid US default

Congress approves bill to avoid default, open government, ending 16-day stalemate

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 03:14am EDT

Short-term debt deal won't mask big barriers ahead

A short-term debt deal won't end fierce dynamics that killed past bids for a bigger accord

Thursday - 10/17/2013, 02:20am EDT
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