What’s the top priority for the 113 Congress? Plus the DorobekINSIDER 7 Stories

On GovLoop Insights’ DorobekINSIDER:

  • Inauguration is a week away. Are you ready for the transition? When it comes to managing during the transition a couple think instantly pop: avoid gossip and do your homework. Click here for the full recap.
  • The City of Santa Cruz is the smallest community to ever partner with Code for America, but it had one of the largest problems to solve: how to make it easier to take an idea for a small business from conception to reality. From a concept to a permit. How did they do it? Click here for the full recap.

But up front: The 113th Congress has been dominated by budget, at least so far… and mostly the debt ceiling debate.

The Washington Post asks if we hit the debt ceiling, can Obama choose which bills to pay?

And that’s not the only budgetary question for Pennsylvania Ave.

OMB says 2014 budget request will be late: The Obama administration’s fiscal 2014 budget request, due on Capitol Hill by Feb. 4, will be late, according to the acting head of the White House Office of Management and Budget.

The SEVEN stories that impact your life

  1. Bad new for feds, the President says if the debt ceiling isn’t raised, feds won’t get paid. Federal Times reports, the government also would not be able to honor its contracts with small-business owners, and Social Security checks and benefits for veterans would be delayed, Obama said during a news conference. Obama reiterated his stance that he will not negotiate with Republicans — who are demanding spending cuts in exchange for raising the debt ceiling.
  2. So how close are we to reaching that limit? Marketwatch reports, treasury secretary Timothy Geithner said the debt ceiling would be reached between mid-February and early March. The U.S. would have hit the debt limit in December but Treasury took several accounting moves to delay it.
  3. Meanwhile sequestration isn’t going away either. Federal News Radio reports, the White House is telling agency managers to intensify their planning for sequestration budget cuts, even if it means hiring freezes, early retirements and buy-outs to cut the workforce. Agencies should also review grants and contracts. That advice comes in the form of a memo from acting Office of Management and Budget Director Jeff Zients. Congress delayed the sequester until March 7. If it does nothing else, civilian agencies will have to find $42 billion in savings during fiscal 2013. Zients also reiterated the White House will be late in submitting its 2014 budget request, normally due in early February
  4. Secretary of Homeland Security Janet Napolitano is staying putting. The Washington Postreports, Napolitano is a former governor of Arizona, she may play an important role in Obama’s push for immigration legislation, a high early priority for the administration.
  5. Military suicides reach a record high. The Associated Press reports, suicides in the U.S. military surged to a record 349 last year, far exceeding American combat deaths in Afghanistan, and some private experts are predicting the dark trend will grow worse this year. The Pentagon has struggled to deal with the suicides, which Defense Secretary Leon Panetta and others have called an epidemic.
  6. Public CIO reports Philadelphia has appointed its first Director of Civic Technology. Tim Wisniewski will work with the CIO and other city departments on helping civic apps have a sustainable impact beyond individual hackathons.
  7. And on GovLoop, are you looking for a career in the federal government? Hit a few snags? Join our Virtual Career Fair on February 28th.You can register for the free event right here.

The DorobekINSIDER water-cooler fodder

  • From the pages of history.On this date in 1943 – the highest-capacity office building in the world, the headquarters of the Defense Department known as the Pentagon, was dedicated.

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