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Sequester Day 56 – Plus the DorobekINSIDER’s 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

But up front: Sequestration Day 56

  • Sequester hits Boston terror trial — David Nather—The Massachusetts public defender’s office, like other federal public defender offices around the country, was already facing furloughs because of the sequester. And that was before the Massachusetts office took on the biggest case in the country: the defense of Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, the 19-year-old suspect who has been charged in connection with the Boston Marathon attacks.
  • The Washington Post Fact Checker: Sequester politics: Three Pinocchios for claims about the FAA furloughs: The ad, and remarks from congressional critics, makes the dilemma facing the FAA seem all too easy. While some of these questions remain to be adjudicated in a legal setting — assuming Congress does not act first — the trade groups go too far in making it appear as if the FAA has ordered furloughs without first looking for other cost cuts or deeming controllers as essential employees. The FAA has very high fixed costs — both in terms of salaries and contracts — giving it little flexibility. The ad thus is rather misleading about options facing the agency.
  • And the Associated Press’s Twitter account was hacked earlier this week and hackers posted a false headline: “Breaking: Two Explosions in the White House and Barack Obama is injured.” Again — it wasn’t true.
  • GovLoop: Not Just for Fun Anymore: Why Social Media Should Be included in CyberSecurity Measures

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. One agency not planning on any furloughs is the Justice Department. Government Executive reports, In addition, congressional appropriators this week allowed Justice to shift money within its budget to help avoid furloughs through Sept. 30.
  2. Meanwhile, HUD is planning on closing 16 of its 80 field offices by fall. Federal Times reports, that means nine hundred Housing and Urban Development Department employees may have to move or change jobs under a restructuring. All affected employees, about 10 percent of the workforce, are being offered jobs, buyouts and will be eligible for moving assistance.
  3. The Food and Drug Administration is also feeling the budgets cuts. The agency will reduce food safety inspections by about 18 percent, which could impact the millions of people at risk of food borne illness. Federal Times reports, while consumers may not feel the impact immediately, the loss of $209 million from its budget will force the agency to conduct about 2,100 fewer inspections.
  4. The White House and Congress seem headed to a compromise that could put furloughed FAA staff back to work. Federal News Radio reports the Obama administration said it was open to a fix even if it leaves other sequestration-related cuts in place. Furloughs of air traffic controllers began Sunday. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said it has led to more than double the number of flight delays. For example, there were 5,800 delays between Sunday and Tuesday. White House spokesman Jay Carney cautioned that a bill to help the FAA would be a “Band-Aid measure.”
  5. The President has locked in another cabinet member. Federal Times reports, Sylvia Burwell won unanimous Senate confirmation Wednesday to be the next director of the Office of Management and Budget. Burwell will replace Jeff Zients, an OMB deputy director who has led the agency on an acting basis since January 2012 when Jack Lew left to become White House chief of staff and, more recently, Treasury secretary.
  6. The Department of Defense manages the nation’s defense satellites worth a collective $13.7 billion, but the ground stations and control networks that operate them need to be modernized significantly, according to a report by the Government Accountability Office. FCW reports, the report states DOD’s satellite control networks are “fragmented and potentially duplicative,” and states that the Air Force Satellite Control Network (AFSCN), DOD’s largest shared satellite control network, is undergoing $400 million in modernization efforts over five years that won’t actually increase the network’s capabilities.
  7. And on GovLoop in case you missed the DorobekINSIDER Live panel discussion on citizen engagement – you can find the recap here.

DorobekINSDER Water-cooler Fodder

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