List of 141 programs facing termination or reduction hits hard at Education, Health and Human Services, and Agriculture departments.
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Working group is nearly done simplifying performance management system.
Placing a single person in charge of active-duty and Guard forces is not a good idea in such situations, Defense official says.
Negotiations could be contentious; White House objects to language transferring responsibility for $27 billion worth of postal workers' military pensions back to the Treasury.
Lobbying scandals said to provide political window for crackdown on spending for legislators' pet projects.
Transportation Security Administration director says comprehensive audit would be necessary to review one system, further delaying it.