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Search Tags: Senate
When House and Senate lawmakers kicked off formal budget negotiations this week for the first time since the government shutdown ended, both Republicans and Democrats said replacing sequestration, the blunt across-the-board budget cuts, with an alternative plan would be a top priority. The sticking point remains how to pay for it. Federal-employee unions and advocacy groups fear federal pay and benefits will once again be on the table.
The 62-35 vote comes more than five months after President Barack Obama nominated the former Labor Department chief of staff and Obama reelection campaign official to serve as the next head of the agency.
Five senators introduce bipartisan bill aimed at enhancing how the Office of Personnel Management handles the clearances of federal employees and contractors to access classified information. If enacted, the legislation would require OPM conduct random, automated reviews twice every five years of public records and databases for information about individuals with security clearances.
For the first time since the government shutdown ended two weeks ago, House and Senate lawmakers are sitting down at the table to negotiate about the fiscal 2014 budget. At the top of the agenda will be what to do about the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration that have ensnared what remained of the traditional budget process this year. However, budget experts and insiders say sequestration is likely to stick around -- at least in some form -- and about the best agencies can hope for is a small-bore deal that grants them some greater flexibility in implementing the cuts, these experts said.
Beth Cobert is on the job as the deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget. The Senate confirmed Cobert and 24 other nominees late Wednesday night.
Sen. Kelly Ayotte has ended her hold on President Barack Obama's nominee for Air Force secretary, clearing the way for Senate confirmation of Deborah Lee James.