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Ed O'Keefe's Blog – May 2010 Archive (32)

House kills Republican effort to cut federal pay

The House on Friday essentially killed Republican efforts to freeze the salaries of federal workers next fiscal year, voting 227 to 183 to table a proposal introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).



The Minnesota Republican introduced the measure after it won this week's Republican YouCut contest that is…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 28, 2010 at 4:30pm — 1 Comment

Federal Eye: Census takers targeted 113 times since April 1

More than 113 census takers have been the victims of assaults or attacks since April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau said late Wednesday.



In response to inquiries by Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), Census Director Robert Groves said the bureau's temporary workers knocking on doors to collect information have

faced 29 threats involving a gun, four robberies and three instances of

being held against their will or carjacked.…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 27, 2010 at 6:19am — No Comments

Federal Eye: Congress OKs money for families of federal agents killed on duty

The families of federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be able to receive relocation assistance from federal law enforcement agencies thanks to new legislation approved on Tuesday.



The House unanimously passed the Special Agent Samuel Hicks Families of Fallen Heroes Act after the Senate cleared it 10 days ago.



The bill is named for an FBI special agent…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 26, 2010 at 9:35am — No Comments

Federal Eye: Audit: Newer federal courthouses are too big

You could call it Extreme Makeover: Courthouse Edition: The federal government's landlord is building courthouses that are bigger than necessary, according to a preliminary report by government auditors.



The Government Accountability Office revealed Tuesday that 27 of the 33 federal courthouses built by the General Services Administration since…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 26, 2010 at 7:39am — No Comments

Federal Eye: Federal pay cuts proposed to offset war costs

Republican senators on Tuesday unveiled two $60 billion proposals that cut government salaries and operational costs to help pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and earthquake relief for Haiti.



Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and John McCain (R-Ariz.) said they will not vote for the $59 billion war supplemental unless lawmakers come up with ways to offset the costs.



The first proposal would implement a one-year freeze on pay… Continue

Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 25, 2010 at 5:45pm — No Comments

Federal Eye: Republicans propose cutting federal pay raises

Would freezing federal worker salaries help cut government costs? House Republicans think so, and are floating the idea as one of several potential government spending cuts.



House Minority Whip Eric Cantor (R-Va.) recently launched YouCut, an online contest designed to highlight government projects his

colleagues consider wasteful. Participants are asked…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 25, 2010 at 7:25am — No Comments

Federal Eye: Survey: MMS a bad place to work

Today's news that top officials at the Minerals Management Service ignored warnings from agency scientists is consistent with findings in last year's survey of the best places to work in the federal government.



The MMS scored a 63.8 out of 100 and ranked 111th of the 216 agencies, according to the 2009 Best Places to Work…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 24, 2010 at 4:19pm — No Comments

Federal Eye: Big federal job fair set for July 14

Are you looking for a federal job or internship?



You'll have an excellent opportunity to meet with representatives from dozens of federal agencies at the Public Service Career and Internship Fair on July 14 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the National

Building Museum. The fair is sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service.…



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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 24, 2010 at 4:01pm — No Comments

Federal Eye: Gulf Coast oil spill: Day 34 update

It's been 34 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration and national press corps are refocusing

their attention on the federal response this week with a series of

visits, statements and actions. Here are highlights from this past

weekend and the week ahead:



• President Obama will participate in the daily call to Gulf…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 24, 2010 at 7:22am — No Comments

Robert Gates surrenders on military pay raise

Defense Secretary Robert Gates and Joint Chief of Staff Chairman Adm. Mike Mullen signaled Thursday that he won't let a pay raise for military service members derail this year's

Defense Authorization Bill.



But Gates said he will "strongly recommend" that President Obama veto the Pentagon budget if it includes an extra engine for the Joint Strike Fighter program and additional C-17 aircraft.



"I believe the defense budget process…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 21, 2010 at 7:54am — No Comments

Thad Allen will continue as oil spill response chief

Coast Guard Commandant Adm. Thad W. Allen will continue to serve as President Obama's point man on the Gulf Coast oil spill after he retires later this month, the administration said

Thursday.



Obama tapped Allen last month to serve as national incident commander when he labeled the spill an "incident of national significance." Such incidents -- usually a natural disaster or

terrorist attack -- require the…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 20, 2010 at 3:26pm — No Comments

Official: Contractors will still play 'a vital role'

By The Post's Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson:



The mix of government work done by federal employees and that done by outside contractors is out of balance, but the right balance doesn't necessarily mean having those employees do more of the contractors'

work, the Obama administration planned to tell Congress Thursday.



"While contractors play, and…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 20, 2010 at 3:00pm — No Comments

Lawmakers question Census lease tied to mosque

By Carol Morello and Ed O'Keefe

Two Republican lawmakers are raising questions about the U.S. Census Bureau’s decision to lease space in an office building owned by a Falls Church mosque.



Sen. Susan Collins of Maine and Rep. Darrell Issa of California each sent letters this week to the General Services Administration asking for details about a two-year lease for…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 20, 2010 at 7:18am — No Comments

TSA agent suspended, charged with stealing cash

A Transportation Security Administration agent surrendered to authorities on Tuesday and was charged with stealing almost $500 from a wheelchair-bound woman passing through a

security checkpoint at Newark Liberty International Airport.



The TSA has suspended agent Leroy Ray, 44 of Newark, adding yet another incident to a…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 19, 2010 at 10:07am — 1 Comment

Senate vote on same-sex benefits for gay partners of federal workers 'within weeks'

The Senate could vote on a bill extending fringe benefits to the same-sex partners of gay federal employees "within weeks" and well before July 4, according to aides to Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman

(I-Conn.).



The Nutmeg State senator is lead sponsor of the measure, which would cost an estimated $310 million through 2020, according to the Congressional Budget…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 19, 2010 at 6:49am — No Comments

Could Obama ask for a federal pay cut?

President Obama last week "encouraged" Spain to follow through with plans for an austerity budget, which includes a 5 percent pay cut for the country's federal employees.



Colleague Chuck Lane endorsed the president's nudge last week, noting that much of the money the U.S. borrows helps underwrites the International Monetary Fund, which is helping bankroll the…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 18, 2010 at 11:11am — No Comments

Pentagon budget, 'in-sourcing' and oil spill investigations

Happy Monday! Among all the others, here are three stories especially worth your time today:



Congress may override efforts by Secretary Gates to cut defense spending: It started with the House passing a higher pay increase than requested, and now lawmakers from both

parties are poised to override Robert Gates and…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 17, 2010 at 7:29am — No Comments

A government agency heads for the clouds

Happy Friday! The folks keeping tabs on the economic stimulus program took a big technological step recently by moving the government's popular stimulus-tracking Web site to "the cloud."



"Cloud computing" allows data and software to be stored in remote data centers rather than on-site servers, providing significant savings to an organization's capital costs and environmental footprint. Much

like…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 14, 2010 at 7:44am — No Comments

Lawmakers disregarded Defense Secretary Robert Gates's calls for fiscal restraint on Thursday, approving a military pay raise higher than President Obama and the Pentagon requested. The House Armed …

Lawmakers disregarded Defense Secretary Robert Gates's calls for fiscal restraint on Thursday, approving a military pay raise higher than President Obama and the Pentagon requested.



The House Armed Services personnel subcommittee approved a 1.9 percent pay bump for uniformed military personnel, half of a percentage point higher than Obama's fiscal 2011 budget. The…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 13, 2010 at 10:25am — No Comments

Poll signals trouble for government oil spill response

Happy Thursday! Here's an interesting nugget in the new NBC News/Wall Street Journal poll regarding the BP oil spill: 45 percent of respondents think the government hasn't done enough in

response to the spill, while 43 percent say it has done enough. The

numbers are a bit worse for British Petroleum: 50 percent say the

company has not done enough, while 37 percent think it has.



As that…

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Added by Ed O'Keefe on May 13, 2010 at 6:50am — No Comments

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