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Agencies can give an American flag to the survivors of a federal employee who is killed in the line of duty under a bill passed Thursday by the Senate. The House unanimously approved the measure last month.
Senate Democrats blocked a bill for the second time that would freeze federal pay for three more years in order to offset an extension of the payroll tax cut. The Democrats own plan to pay for the extension with a surtax on the income of millionaires was also voted down.
One of the largest federal-employee unions has called on Congress to pass new legislation to retain a pretax mass-transit commuter benefit, which is set to be cut nearly in half starting in January. In a letter to members of the House and Senate, NTEU President Colleen Kelley said reducing the $230-a-month transit benefit would affect tens of thousands of federal employees that rely on public transportation to get to and from work.
The Republican-run House on Thursday voted to give Congress greater power to approve or reject major federal rules that the GOP calls "job killers" _ regulations covering everything from health care to dangerous children's toys.
Under the draft bill, introduced by the chairman of the House Homeland Security Cybersecurity Subcommittee, Daniel Lungren (R-Calif.), the organization would share cyber threat information among various government and private-sector groups. The Homeland Security Department would take a lead role in the new organization by organizing the information sharing across the government and its private sector counterparts.
Humberto Sanchez, who covers the Senate for CQ Roll Call, joined In Depth with Francis Rose with the latest on where a proposed federal pay freeze stands.
Rep. Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) said he's disappointed in the supercommittee's failure to reach a deal, and he called the looming automatic cuts launched by the sequester "draconian." If the deepest cuts are enacted — about 8 to 9 percent in cuts to annual agency budgets — feds should prepare for the worst, he said.
The House has approved bipartisan legislation reforming the Federal Employees Compensation Act. The bill streamlines the claims process and expands benefits.
Alexander Bolton of The Hill newspaper calls Senate Majority Leader Reid's omnibus package as "only way to get these appropriations bills passed."
In the aftermath of Sept. 11, 2011, emergency responders found they could not communicate with each other. A decade later, that problem persists.