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2:19 am, December 19, 2014

Senate News

Obama approves $1.1 trillion federal spending bill

President Barack Obama signed Congress' $1.1 trillion spending bill on Tuesday, putting an official end to the last-minute negotiations for the fiscal year 2015 budget - at least for now.

Wednesday - 12/17/2014, 06:46am EST

Senate confirms Obama immigration nominee

Senate, over GOP objection, confirms Obama nominee to head Immigration and Customs Enforcement

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 07:00pm EST

Senate gridlock forces Postal board into emergency committee

The Postal Service Board of Governors says it will keep working, even though it doesn't have enough members for a quorum.

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 11:13am EST

John Palguta, Vice President for Policy, Partnership for Public Service

The 114th Congress convenes on Tuesday, Jan. 6, with some new faces yet to be voted in for important oversights roles such as chairman for the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee and Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. John Palguta is the vice president for policy at the Partnership for Public Service. He joined the Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what federal employees should expect in 2015 - from senior executives to civil service reform.

Tuesday - 12/16/2014, 08:00am EST
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David Hawkings, Senior Editor, Roll Call

The spending bill for the rest of fiscal 2015 -- except for the Homeland Security Department -- is on President Obama's desk, waiting for his signature. Congress was supposed to be gone by now; but, the Senate is still in session, and they may not leave for a while. David Hawkings is Senior Editor at Roll Call and writes the Hawkings Here blog. On In Depth with Francis Rose, he described the confirmation parade the Senate is on.

Monday - 12/15/2014, 04:46pm EST
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Levin, Coburn leave legacy of bipartisanship, oversight

Sen. Carl Levin (D-Mich.) says "bipartisanship is not extinct" in his farewell speech to Congress. Wastebook author Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) says oversight is a duty that many senators continue to ignore.

Monday - 12/15/2014, 02:27pm EST

Senate cancels vote on Obama Social Security pick

Obama pick to head Social Security runs into more trouble; Senate cancels confirmation vote

Monday - 12/15/2014, 11:28am EST

Senate OKs defense policy bill

Senate backs defense bill expanding military campaign against Islamic extremists

Saturday - 12/13/2014, 10:10am EST

Lawmakers agree on $1.1 trillion spending bill

Lawmakers reach deal on $1.1 trillion spending bill, may add pension provision

Wednesday - 12/10/2014, 03:08am EST

Trey Hodgkins, Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector

The Federal Information Technology Acquisition Reform Act is still attached to the 2015 Defense authorization bill the House passed and the Senate will debate this week. The latest version of FITARA looks a bit different than the original. Still, the new bill would hand civilian agency CIOs more authority, prioritize hiring of specialty IT experts and maximize use of data centers. Trey Hodgkins is Senior Vice President of Public Sector at the Information Technology Alliance for Public Sector, a division of the Information Technology Industry Council. He joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to discuss what we can expect from the compromise version of FITARA.

Monday - 12/08/2014, 08:30am EST
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Todd Harrison, Senior Fellow, Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments

The big national defense authorization bill is moving through Congress. It passed the House yesterday, and the Senate is expected to take it up next week. In purely military spending terms, the bill is a mixed bag. Some programs and platforms get plus-ups, others get cuts. Todd Harrison is a senior fellow at the Center for Strategic and Budgetary Assessments. He's been studying the bill, and joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive to analyze the bill's winners and losers.

Friday - 12/05/2014, 07:58am EST
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Several top-level DoD nominees under Senate review

The Senate Armed Services Commitee is reviewing a group of new White House nominees to fill top-level positions at the Defense Department. The list includes DoD's general counsel position, the commander of Pacific Command and three assistant secretary positions.

Wednesday - 12/03/2014, 05:14pm EST
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House passes NDAA deal with pay raise, higher co-pays for troops

The House passed the 2015 National Defense Authorization Act deal Thursday. The House and Senate Armed Services Committees arrived at a compromise over troop benefits in the fiscal year 2015 National Defense Authorization Act that will give soldiers a 1 percent pay raise, as well as a $3 increase in most prescription co-pays. House Armed Services Committee chairman Rep. Buck McKeon (R-Calif.) released a summary of the ups and downs of this fiscal year's $585 billion NDAA, expected to be finalized before Congress leaves for the holidays.

Wednesday - 12/03/2014, 12:17pm EST

Continuing resolution or omnibus? Decision looms for Congress as holidays approach

When Congress returns on Dec. 1, it will be pressed for time on deciding its next course on funding before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on Dec. 12.

Friday - 11/28/2014, 12:13pm EST
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Sean Vitka, Federal Policy Manager, Sunlight Foundation

An amendment to the Freedom of Information Act appeared to sail through the Senate. The goal is to hold agencies more accountable for disclosing records and create a more uniform system for the public to file FOIA requests. The Senate Judiciary Committee passed the bill unanimously. Sean Vitka, federal policy manager at the Sunlight Foundation, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with analysis of what the bill would do.

Tuesday - 11/25/2014, 11:04am EST
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Yvonne Jones, Director of Strategic Issues, GAO

Incoming Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) promises to avoid another government shutdown. Lawmakers have until mid-December to turn that promise into reality. Or not. It's a good idea to be prepared. The Government Accountability Office reviewed how agencies handled last year's lapse in appropriations. Yvonne Jones, the agency's director of Strategic Issues, explained the findings on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Monday - 11/24/2014, 10:51am EST
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Don Kettl, School of Public Policy, University of Maryland

Everyone with a stake in the federal budget is looking toward Dec. 11. That's when the continuing resolution runs out, and Congress will have to decide what to do next. Beyond that, federal agencies are looking at two long years of a Republican Congress and Democratic White House. Will it be the immoveable rock facing the irresistible force? Or can good things still happen? Don Kettl, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and long-time watcher of all things federal, offered some insight on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

Monday - 11/24/2014, 10:48am EST
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Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.)

The government should be smaller, the Postal Service's finances need to be addressed once and for all, and it may be time to rethink the civil service system. This is all according to Senator Ron Johnson. The Wisconsin Republican will replace Delaware Democrat Tom Carper as chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in December. On the Federal Drive with Tom Temin, Senator Johnson discussed his priorities.

Friday - 11/21/2014, 11:20am EST
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Senate Judiciary approves bill to codify ‘presumption of openness'

Senate committee lawmakers voted to send a manager's amendment to the Freedom of Information Act Improvement Act to the full body for consideration. The bill would require agencies to release documents more proactively.

Thursday - 11/20/2014, 03:20pm EST

OPM nominee to focus on improving security review process, veteran hiring

A Senate committee heard testimony Tuesday from retired Rear Adm. Earl Gay on his nomination to be the Office of Personnel's first deputy director in three years.

Tuesday - 11/18/2014, 05:22pm EST
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