Maine Republican Sen. Susan Collins says Obama's pick for undersecretary for management at DHS lacks sufficient experience.
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New process aims to speed up grid modernization and spur renewable energy production.
Memos are too light on specifics and lack deadlines to hold agencies accountable for making reforms, lawmakers say.
Solicitation is the department's latest effort to process what officials call an unprecedented volume of claims.
Changes would affect joint ventures, size and income determinations for potential participants.
House majority leader also calls for overhaul of federal pay system.
Administration also addresses ways to reduce risky contract types and increase competition.
Proposal backs away from requiring agencies to bargain over broader set of work rules.
In a midterm election in which turnout is inherently lower than in presidential years, the most-motivated voters carry a disproportionate advantage.
Move follows GAO ruling citing flaws in how the Army reached a decision to outsource public works jobs.