White House sends out furlough notices to almost 500 staffers – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

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Emily Jarvis

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Frequent DorobekINSIDER guest and federal rockstar Linda Cureton is retiring on Wednesday. It is a sad day for government. But before she sails off we wanted to pick her brain on how she had such a successful career? And get her insights on how you can chart a similar journey? Click here for the full recap.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. The White House has sent furlough notices to 480 employees. Federal News Radio reports, all work in the Office of Management and Budget. Press secretary Jay Carney wouldn’t say whether other presidential staff members were warned. But he didn’t rule out furloughs for other White House sections. He says the White House has been trying to cut costs other ways. It’s slowed down hiring, cut purchases of office supplies, and reduced travel and the use of mobile Internet cards.

  2. The President has named veteran economic team member Brian Deese to be the number two at the Office of Management and Budget. Deese joined the White House in 2009 after serving as an economic adviser both on the 2008 Obama presidential campaign and the Obama-Biden transition team, GovExec reports. He focused on tax policy, financial regulation, housing, clean energy and manufacturing.

  3. In person conference are on the decline. Federal Times reports, decreasing travel budgets are forcing agencies to conduct more meetings and training seminars online. The Defense Department, for example, doubled the capacity of its Defense Connect Online system — an internal collaboration tool — this year to accommodate more simultaneous audio and video Web conferencing across the services.

  4. A new report says Congress is less transparent now on its budget requests. Federal Times reports, in the more than two years since earmarks were banned to make congressional spending more transparent, lawmakers have fallen back on an age-old practice of writing letters to request money from agencies for projects back home.

  5. USA Today reports, the Internal Revenue service is catching up on processing tax returns in this delayed tax-filing season, but it’s still behind last year’s pace. The IRS says it has processed 77.1 million tax returns through March 22, vs. 82 million from the same period last year. The average refund is $2,827 this year, down slightly from $2,860 last year.

  6. The Congressional Budget Office is detailing just how much unemployment benefits have cost taxpayers over the past few years. Federal News Radio reports, analyst William Carrington says federal spending on unemployment insurance shot up from $33 billion in 2004 to a high of $155 billion in 2010. Outlays have been falling since then. Harrington says CBO believes the payments went back into the economy as family spending. CBO recommends Congress consider restructuring the unemployment benefits to encourage employment.

  7. And on GovLoop. You can now register for the April edition of DorobekINSIDER Live. We’ll be talking citizen engagement. Register for the free event here.

Watercooler Fodder

  • An awesome interactive budget chart from The Washington Post: All the budget plans in one chart

  • Six lessons from the Post’s awesome budget charts

  • Slate: Why Congress Deserves a Big Fat Raise

  • Danger Room:If two junior Navy officers have their way, the warships of the future will be floating factories that create everything from food to robots and spare parts — all thanks to 3-D printers. Shipyards will use them on a vast scale. And when the ships need more raw materials, they’ll link up with “biomining” ships that harvest raw materials from the sea. That’s the concept, at least, from Navy lieutenants Scott Cheney-Peters and Matthew Hipple. Writing in Proceedings, the influential journal of the U.S. Naval Institute, the pair write that the growth of 3-D printing machines could change almost everything about how the Navy builds stuff “through the design and construction of ships, submarines, aircraft, and everything carried on board.” On a smaller scale, they write that 3-D printers could change the way the Navy handles logistics and the way it produces tools, components and supplies for its ships. At its most radical, they envision a Navy that integrates 3-D printing into everything, including shipyards that use the machines to construct ships, and “biomining” harvesters that suck magnesium from the sea for use in electronics. Other concepts include putting 3-D printers on hospital ships for printing medical tools and replacement limbs.

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