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Congress faces continuing resolution, sequestration and postal reform

Lawmakers returned to Washington, D.C., this week with a packed agenda. Topping the list of priorities is hammering out final details of a stopgap spending measure to keep the government running beyond the end of the fiscal year -- Sept. 30. Amid the election-year politicking, the list of unfinished business also includes legislation to restructure the financially ailing U.S. Postal Service and a cybersecurity bill that aims to safeguard the nation's critical infrastructure. Perhaps looming largest of all is what Congress plans to do about automatic, across-the-board cuts, known as sequestration, set to take effect Jan. 2. Failure to avert the cuts could send the country over a "fiscal cliff," budget experts warn.

Tags: Congress , Senate , budget , sequestration , John Boehner , Harry Reid , CR , USPS , postal reform , cybersecurity , Susan Collins , Jolie Lee , Amanda Iacone , Jack Moore

Monday - 09/10/2012, 06:47pm EDT

Congressman pledges to hold hearings on VA conference spending

Spa treatments, concert tickets and helicopter and stretch limo rides — the initial details in a Veterans Affairs' Office of the Inspector General investigation could overshadow the GSA conference spending scandal.

Tags: Jeff Miller , House Veterans Affairs Committee , Congress , oversight , VA , conference spending , Federal Drive

Monday - 08/20/2012, 11:48am EDT
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GOP lawmaker questions spending at VA conferences

A Republican lawmaker is raising questions about spending at training conferences held in Florida last year by the Veterans Affairs Department that have prompted an internal investigation at the agency.

Tags: Jeff Miller , Veterans Affairs Department , House Veterans Affairs Committee , Congress , Joshua Taylor , inspector general , oversight , Eric Shinseki

Monday - 08/13/2012, 09:47pm EDT

Issa seeks closer relationship between IGs, Congress

Too often Congress is left "in the dark" when it comes to inspector general investigations of agency misconduct, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chair of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee wrote in a letter to 73 inspectors general. Issa said he wanted to "establish an understanding between Congress and the IG community" for more rapid reporting of agency misdeeds uncovered by their offices. In his letter, Issa asked the inspectors for more information about their reporting practices to Congress and whether any serious problems were ever not shared with lawmakers.

Tags: oversight , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee , Darrell Issa , GSA , Shakeup at GSA , Jack Moore

Monday - 08/06/2012, 09:06pm EDT

House OKs bill allowing agencies to boot tax-delinquent feds

The House voted 263-116 to approve the Federal Employee Tax Accountability Act and send it to the Senate. The measure would make those are who are seriously delinquent ineligible for federal employment, whether they're working for the government now or are applying for a job. The House will also vote on final passage of a bill Wednesday to curb misuse of government charge cards.

Tags: tax delinquent , Congress , TSP , pay and benefits , workforce , Senate confirmation , charge card abuse

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 11:46am EDT

Reid, Boehner announce stopgap spending deal

The top Republican and Democrat on Capitol Hill have announced an agreement to keep the government running on autopilot for six months when the current budget year ends on Sept. 30. The announcements by Democratic Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid and GOP House Speaker John Boehner are aimed at averting any chance of a government shutdown this fall. The leaders said an official vote on the bill won't come until September.

Tags: Congress , Senate , Harry Reid , John Boehner , budget , stopgap funding , continuing resolution

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 04:56pm EDT

USPS: We will default on $5.5B payment due this week

The U.S. Postal Service is bracing for a first-ever default on billions in payments due to the Treasury, adding to widening uncertainty about the mail agency's solvency as first-class letters plummet and Congress deadlocks on ways to stem the red ink. With cash running perilously low, two legally required payments for future postal retirees' health benefits - $5.5 billion due Wednesday, and another $5.6 billion due in September - will be left unpaid, the mail agency said Monday.

Tags: budget , USPS , Congress , Senate , Patrick Donahoe , Esther Carey , Ruben Gomez

Monday - 07/30/2012, 05:48pm EDT
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End of the world delayed?

Good news, bad news. The good news is that the end of the world in your case, maybe extended furloughs or even a layoff is likely to be extended. Things are currently scheduled to go boom early next January. But there are signs that Congress may delay the day of reckoning until March or April of 2013. Now your only worry is the Mayan calendar, Senior Correspondent Mike Causey says.

Tags: Mike Causey , Federal News Radio , pay and benefits , workforce , sequestration , budget , Congress , Senate , supercommittee , Simpson-Bowles

Tuesday - 07/31/2012, 02:00am EDT
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