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Search Tags: Senate
The House this week approved a handful of bills aimed at improving federal financial management and oversight of government operations. Two of the bills — one requiring the Homeland Security Department to pass a complete financial audit and the other lightening the mandatory caseload of the Government Accountability Office — have already been passed by the Senate and head to the president's desk for his signature.
A bipartisan group of senators has written to top Army officials to express concern about delays in the suspension and debarment process that leave the service open to contracting waste and fraud. In a letter to Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Raymond Odierno, the senators questioned "significant time lapses" between referrals for suspension and actual debarment of contractors in Afghanistan.
The Senate moved forward with a plan to require the Defense Department to reduce its civilian workforce by 5 percent over the next five years, after a measure striking that provision was defeated in a vote Friday. Earlier this week, Sen. Ben Cardin (D-Md.) introduced an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, which would lift a mandated 5 percent reduction to DoD's civilian and contractor workforces over five years. But in a 53-41 vote, Cardin's amendment was defeated.
The Homeland Security Department would be required to conduct and pass a full financial audit under a bill unanimously approved by the Senate on Wednesday. The DART Act requires the agency, long characterized by the Government Accountability Office as being at high-risk for waste and abuse, to reach a clean audit opinion by 2013.
The White House is threatening to veto the $631 billion annual Defense bill the Senate is debating this week unless Congress makes changes. The administration took issue with a number of provisions included in the 2013 National Defense Authorization Bill, which Senate leaders hope to vote on by the end of the week.
The Senate unanimously approved a measure requiring the Veterans Affairs Department to work more closely with state agencies to reduce a longstanding and growing backlog of disability claims. The measure, sponsored by Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) was included as an amendment to the 2013 National Defense Authorization Act.
The election Tuesday could bring with it a number of changes to the makeup and leadership of key congressional committees with oversight of the federal workforce and management. The changes to the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee and others are expected from retirements, committee term limits and a few close races.
Tags: 2012 election , Congress , House , House Oversight and Government Reform Committee , Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee , Joe Lieberman , Claire McCaskill , Tom Carper , Scott Brown , Carl Levin , John McCain , Appropriations Committee , Paul Ryan
The Senate approved Gen. Joseph Dunford, the assistant commandant of the Marine Corps, to be the top commander in Afghanistan.
On Friday, the Senate passed a bipartisan bill updating the Hatch Act, the law that restricts the political activities of federal employees.