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Eric Katz

Staff Correspondent Eric Katz joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 after graduating from The George Washington University, where he studied journalism and political science. He has written for his college newspaper and an online political news website and worked in a public affairs office for the Navy’s Military Sealift Command. Most recently, he worked for Financial Times, where he reported on national politics.
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Budget Negotiators Agree on One Thing: Avoiding Another Shutdown

October 30, 2013 Congressional budget negotiators on Wednesday attempted to temper expectations for a big deal, and lawmakers dug in along party lines on the issue of continuing sequestration. The bicameral budget conference committee, put into place as a condition of reopening the government after the recent 16-day shutdown, held its first official ...

Federal Retirees Will Receive 1.5 Percent COLA Next Year

October 30, 2013 Federal retirees will see a 1.5 percent increase in their annuities starting in January, according to figures released Wednesday. The 2014 cost-of-living adjustment is a relatively small one, and marks the second consecutive year the figure has dropped. The 2013 COLA was 1.7 percent, while the 3.6 percent boost in ...

House Backs Bill to Cut VA Bonuses

October 29, 2013 This story has been updated. The House unanimously passed a bill Monday to limit the amount the Veterans Affairs Department can spend on bonuses each year, mandating a 14 percent cut to the agency’s performance awards. The bill would set an annual cap on bonuses of $345 million for the ...

Thousands of Feds Withdrew Retirement Investments During Shutdown

October 28, 2013 Federal employees turned to their retirement investments for cash during the government shutdown, with thousands of workers taking hardship withdrawals to support themselves through the unpaid period. Nearly 3,000 more feds withdrew from their Thrift Saving Plans during the shutdown than did in October of 2012, officials said at a ...

Labor Dept. Tells States Furloughed Feds Must Give Back Unemployment Benefits

October 25, 2013 This story has been updated. All states must recoup any unemployment payments made to federal employees furloughed by the shutdown, the Obama administration has advised. The announcement comes after a group of House Republicans called on the administration to ensure all federal employees who received unemployment insurance repay the compensation ...

Feds’ Annual Charity Drive Gets One Month Extension Due to Shutdown

October 25, 2013 Federal employees will have an extra month to donate to charities through the government-sponsored annual giving drive, the Office of Personnel Management has announced. Elaine Kaplan, OPM’s acting director, said in a letter to local leaders of the Combined Federal Campaign that the government shutdown necessitated the extension. The solicitation ...

Issa: Let All Americans Into Feds’ Health Plan

October 24, 2013 This story has been updated. Most Republicans do not like the Affordable Care Act. But one Republican leader has proposed a supplement to the law referred to as Obamacare: Allow all Americans to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Rep. Darrell Issa, R-Calif., chairman of the House Oversight ...

Democrats: Leave Federal Employees Alone

October 23, 2013 House Democrats are calling on budget negotiators to protect federal employees and their benefits, arguing the federal workforce has already borne the brunt of too many cuts. Rep. Marcia Fudge, D-Ohio, introduced a resolution “expressing the sense of the House of Representatives supporting federal employees,” and dozens of her colleagues ...

Federal Agencies Lost 6,000 Jobs in September

October 22, 2013 The federal government shed 6,000 jobs in September, according to new numbers from the Bureau of Labor Statistics. The U.S. Postal Service -- which has seen an overall loss of about 200,000 employees over the last six years -- added 1,400 jobs last month, while the rest of federal agencies ...

New Bill Would Protect Federal Retirees from Predatory Lenders

October 21, 2013 A bipartisan group of House lawmakers will introduce legislation this week to protect federal, postal and military retirees from predatory lenders who target the retirees’ pensions. The Annuity Safety and Security Under Reasonable Enforcement -- or ASSURE -- Act, sponsored by Rep. Matt Cartwright, D-Pa., would expand the 1968 Truth ...