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4:11 am, May 27, 2015

Congressional Spotlight

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David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

Discretionary spending for civilian agencies dropped 7 percent next year over 2015 levels, according to the Senate Appropriations Committee. But the committee's Democrats aren't happy about that. David Hawkings, senior editor at Roll Call, writes the Hawkings Here blog. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose where Congress left some of its biggest appropriations negotiations before this week's recess.

Tuesday - 05/26/2015, 04:36pm EDT
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Bob Tobias, Professor, American University

A Senate hearing last week on civil service reform drummed up little interest, and there was little movement toward any legislation. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Subcommittee Chairman James Lankford (R-Okla.) said his subcommittee was in a "listening stage" now. Bob Tobias, professor within the Key Executive Leadership Program at American University, said it shouldn't be so hard to gather members of Congress, the administration, agency and union leaders to talk about civil service reform. He tells In Depth with Francis Rose, government has done it already.

Tuesday - 05/26/2015, 04:12pm EDT
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Congress' familiar path: short-term solutions

Deadlocked over long list of problems, Congress picks familiar path and goes short-term

Tuesday - 05/26/2015, 03:50am EDT

Senate tweaks veterans health law to boost specialized care

Senate tweaks health care 'choice' law to boost veterans' access to specialized care

Monday - 05/25/2015, 11:10pm EDT

Discussion of TSP issues by the people who know

The Federal Thrift Retirement Investment Board's Greg Long and Kim Weaver join hosts Bob Leins and Tammy Flanagan to discuss the TSP and plans to use a loan from the G Fund to help fund the federal deficit.
May 25, 2015

Monday - 05/25/2015, 09:12pm EDT
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VA must find millions to finish troubled Denver hospital

Construction at Denver VA hospital to move forward, but millions still needed to finish it

Saturday - 05/23/2015, 06:12am EDT

USPS ready to replace aging delivery fleet

The Postal Service told a House panel Thursday that it's become too expensive to maintain its aging delivery fleet and it needs to purchase up to 180,000 new vehicles. USPS spends $4,200 annually on maintenance per vehicle to keep the fleet running.

Friday - 05/22/2015, 09:50am EDT

Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.)

Customer service at the Veterans Affairs Department has been a mixed bag lately. After the long weekend and the barbeque paraphernalia are cleaned up, area vets will have a chance to sit down with a caseworker and sort their affairs. Rep. John Delaney (D-Md.) will have those caseworkers on hand for a Constituent Services Workshop in Germantown. Vets can get help with all sorts of things. Rep. Delaney joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more workshop details.

Friday - 05/22/2015, 08:53am EDT
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House to VA employees: Your mess-ups will live forever

Under the Ensuring VA Accountability Act, reprimands and admonishments that VA employees receive for misconduct would remain part of their permanent record for as long as they work for the department.

Thursday - 05/21/2015, 02:17pm EDT

Fed bashing: How bad is it?

Federal Drive host Tom Temin joins Mike Causey to discuss fed bashing and federal job security, and Federal Times senior writer Andy Medici will tell us Congress has in store for feds after the Memorial Day break.
May 20, 2015

Wednesday - 05/20/2015, 07:22pm EDT

Want to help feds do their jobs? Stop attacking them

The Senate subcommittee that oversees federal management hosted a hearing Wednesday on how agencies can better address 21st century problems. Two employee representatives had an answer for Congress: Stop attacking the federal workforce.

Wednesday - 05/20/2015, 03:28pm EDT

Hudson Hollister, Executive Director, Data Transparency Coalition

This afternoon, Rep. Darrell Issa (D-Calif.) plans to introduce a bill that will change the way financial regulatory agencies go about their work. The Financial Transparency Act of 2015 would modernize the process of financial regulatory reporting, and force all nine major financial regulators to adopt open data formats for everything they collect. Hudson Hollister, executive director of the Data Transparency Coalition, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to analyze the bill's implications and importance.

Wednesday - 05/20/2015, 10:07am EDT
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DoD leader raises an eyebrow over proposed acquisition reforms

Pentagon has concerns with Senate legislation requiring more acquisition authority for military service chiefs and House provision dictating new career paths for uniformed acquisition personnel.

Wednesday - 05/20/2015, 04:03am EDT
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Bill offers feds $10,000 to report wasteful spending

The newly introduced bill could curb "agency bloat" and the tendency for them to spend frivolously at the end of the year, said Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.), one of the co-sponsors of the bill.

Tuesday - 05/19/2015, 05:20pm EDT

Controversial agency rule-making bill advances in House

The All Economic Regulations are Transparent (ALERT) Act of 2015 advanced Tuesday in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee along party lines, with some Democrats saying it would add red tape on top of red tape for agencies trying to finalize rules.

Tuesday - 05/19/2015, 04:06pm EDT

From bomb-detecting elephants to catfish inspections, new waste books slam agency spending

Agencies are wasting more than $1 billion on duplicative and unnecessary programs, according to two new reports from members of Congress.

Tuesday - 05/19/2015, 03:44pm EDT
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IGs given power to subpoena former feds, contractors under new bill

Inspectors general would have the power to subpoena former feds and contractors to testify in cases of fraud or waste of more than $100,000, or when criminal activity is suspected.

Tuesday - 05/19/2015, 02:54pm EDT

Republicans clash over NSA surveillance powers

Republicans clashed over the future of government surveillance programs on Monday, highlighting a deep divide among the GOP's 2016 presidential class over whether the National Security Agency should be collecting American citizens' phone records in the name of preventing terrorism.

Tuesday - 05/19/2015, 04:20am EDT

New bill aims to improve oversight of FEHBP prescription drug benefits

Rep. Stephen Lynch (D-Mass.) introduced a new bill that would improve federal oversight of the prescription drug benefits of federal employees and retirees and reduce the cost of prescription drugs.

Monday - 05/18/2015, 06:30pm EDT

Bill aims to save government billions of dollars on leased space

The legislation represents a "limited, tremendous" opportunity to fix the General Service Administration's leasing process, as half of federal buildings' leases expire soon.

Monday - 05/18/2015, 05:08pm EDT
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