On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:
- SuperTracker is the new app. for USDA. It allows individuals to track their food intake in the dietary guidelines put out annually by the USDA. Figure out how they did it. Click here for the full recap.
The State of the Union – Did you follow us at #SOTUgov? Check out the stream.
President Obama spoke for an hour about the budget, sequestration, immigration reform, gun control and a host of other matters. In his fifth State of the Union address, Obama ruled out shifting cuts from defense to civilian programs. He echoed former President Bill Clinton in calling for a government that’s smarter, not bigger. Among the specifics, the president proposed new programs at Defense and Energy to back so-called manufacturing hubs. And he urged Congress to pass a comprehensive cybersecurity bill. – Federal News Radio
But for government, there was not much there there. The Washington Post notes what Obama did and didn’t say about the federal workforce.
The President also announced his signing of an executive order on cybersecurity. You can see it for yourself here.
“We cannot look back years from now and wonder why we did nothing in the face of real threats to our security and economy,” Obama said. “Now Congress must act as well, by passing legislation to give our government a greater capacity to secure our networks and deter attacks. This is something we should be able to get done on a bipartisan basis.”
Obama’s executive order couldn’t be better timed — but it will take more than that to prevent a digital attack. It’s been a long time coming — and implementing it will take longer still — but President Obama has finally signed a long-awaited executive order that promises to protect the nation’s railways, electrical grids, and other infrastructure from catastrophic cyberattack. — National Journal.
The SEVEN stories that impact your life
- Chuck Hagel is one step closer to being the new Defense Secretary. Politico reports, Chuck Hagel floundered through his confirmation hearing last month, limped out of committee on a bitter partisan vote on Tuesday and may barely squeak through the Senate later this week to become the next secretary of defense. The Senate Armed Services Committee voted 14-11 Tuesday to send Hagel’s nomination to the Senate, and Republicans planned to throw up roadblocks for the remainder of the week to prevent Hagel from getting a quick vote on the floor.
- Federal Times reports, a key lawmaker wants to overhaul the way the government bars contractors from receiving federal contracts. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., circulated draft legislation Feb. 7 that would create a commission to oversee all suspension and debarment cases. Currently, each agency decides whether to suspend or debar a contractor. The board, which would reside within the General Services Administration, would ensure that standards are consistent and that contractors are treated fairly, “including small businesses with limited legal resources,” according to the legislation.
- The Federal Housing Administration chief will try to convince a House panel today that the agency does not need a bailout. Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan pledged to take every action appropriate to protect taxpayers, while continuing to ensure the FHA helps stabilize the housing market. Officials told Reuters the agency will take “aggressive measures” like raising the fees it charges borrowers and tightening credit standards for its loans. In November, HUD released a report showing the FHA was on the verge of needing a bailout for the first time in its nearly 80-year history.
- Immigration reform takes center-stage today on Capitol Hill. Federal News Radio reports the Senate Judiciary Committee will hear from the Homeland Security secretary and an illegal immigrant. A bipartisan group of senators is working on a bill to eventually let an estimated 11 million illegal immigrants become citizens. The Wall Street Journal reports, another Senate bill called the Startup Act 3.0 also has bipartisan backing. It would grant visas to 75,000 foreign entrepreneurs and 50,000 foreign graduates of U.S. universities with technical degrees. (Federal News Radio/Wall Street Journal)
- The Hill Newspaper reports, Jack Lew, the president’s nominee to head the Treasury Department, touted his lengthy bipartisan deal-making credentials Wednesday in opening testimony before the Senate Finance Committee. Lew, seeking the confirmation of lawmakers, vowed he would take into consideration all perspectives if given the executive branch’s top economic spot, noting that his lengthy Washington career was full of such efforts. “Forging bipartisan consensus is not an abstract idea for me,” he said, according to prepared testimony. “It is the fundamental thread that spans my professional life.
- NextGov reports, cting Tuesday’s nuclear test by North Korea, a senior Defense Department official called U.S. nuclear weapons operations “a national priority” that the Obama administration would seek to shield from across-the-board federal spending cuts set to take effect on March 1. It appears that “a safe, secure nuclear deterrent” will remain necessary “far into the future,” Deputy Defense Secretary Ashton Carter said at a Senate Armed Services Committee hearing on sequestration’s anticipated implications for Pentagon programs. “That does require that we have the scientists and engineering base, the facilities, and the life-extension programs and other things we do to keep the nuclear arsenal going.”
- And on GovLoop, register for the DorobekINSIDER Live, next Wednesday February 20th at noon for our expert BYOD panel. Register here.