DorobekINSIDER: 7 stories you need to know: Sequestration looms

The SEVEN stories that impact your life for Monday the 25th of June, 2012

  1. A big deal to prevent sequestration cuts at the Pentagon is still elusive in Congress. But both sides do agree sequestration must be stopped. Politico reports, defense contractors are also threatening to issue hundreds of thousands of layoff notices right before Election Day because of a federal law requiring businesses to give workers a 60-day notice if they’re facing layoffs. If Congress doesn’t strike a deal the automatic cuts will start January 30th.
  2. Meanwhile, the defense industry is arming itself for battle going into the lame-duck session. Politico reports the Aerospace Industries Association is blanketing Capitol Hill and congressional districts trying to make the case that lawmakers need to kill the defense spending cuts before catastrophic damage to the economy, jobs and the country’s national defense occur.
  3. A deal to help extend federal student loan interest rates could be close. Government Executive says Senate leaders are inching closer to a compromise on how to pay for a one-year extension of reduced federal student loan interest rates. According to reports in National Journal and Politico, the compromise centers around extending the current federal Stafford student loan interest rate of 3.4 percent for one year. Lawmakers are facing a July 1 deadline for the extension.
  4. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration is doing everything it can to ward off furloughs. Government Executivesays a Senate committee approved the agency’s request to reallocate $36 million to avoid furloughing 5,000 employees this summer, and House appropriators have said they likely will follow suit.
  5. Agencies are being asked to reduce the amount of paper they use. Cass Sunstein the administrator of the White House Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs sent a memo to agencies asking them to take additional steps to reduce paperwork. Government Executive says the memo is part of an overall effort to ease the burden of regulations on business, the public and federal employees.
  6. The Labor Department has awarded $15 million dollars in efforts to combat homelessness among veterans. The department says 64 groups around the country are getting money to provide job training for homeless vets. The Washington Post says more job training grants will probably be awarded in the next couple of years. The administration has set a goal of ending veteran homelessness by 2015. Labor Secretary Hilda Solis says the number of homeless veterans in the country is now below 60,000. (The Washington Post)
  7. And on GovLoop, our Next Generation of Government Training Summit is a little more than a month away. And we’ve extended the early bird discount for another week. So sign up now and save. This year’s conference features over 100 speakers. The conference kicks off July 26th.

On today’s edition of the DorobekINSIDER

  • Making mobile work at the Commerce Department. Insights from their CIO — Simon Szykman.
  • Cloud computing — is it more hype or reality? We get to the center of the issue with the author of a new book, “Get Your Head into the Clouds.”

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