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Appointee Watch: Senators Grill Defense Pick, Confirm FEMA Director

June 21, 2017 While in recent weeks, several nominees to key positions in the Trump administration had relatively quiet confirmation processes, the same could not be said for the White House’s pick for deputy Defense secretary, Patrick Shanahan. The Washington Post reported that on Tuesday, Shanahan faced stark criticism from members of the...

An End to Fitness Perks for Some Feds, Another Scam Targeting Retirees and More

June 21, 2017 Officials at the Office of Personnel Management are warning federal workers and retirees about another scam targeting their annuities. Last week, OPM posted on its website that companies are “aggressively” targeting federal retirees with an offer of a cash payment in exchange for some or all of someone’s future annuities....

Military and Veterans Groups Advocate Benefit Parity Between Active Duty, Reserve Soldiers

June 20, 2017 Advocacy groups urged a Senate panel last week to move forward with legislation to provide benefits parity between active duty soldiers and reservists deployed for disasters or overseas mission support. Under Title 10, Section 12304b of the U.S. Code, reservists can be deployed overseas for a “preplanned mission in support...

Should the Costs of Federal Employee Pensions Be Calculated Differently?

June 19, 2017 The Congressional Budget Office said last week that changing how the agency scores the cost of federal employee pensions could provide lawmakers with better estimates when compared to other retirement policy options, but it also would rely on more uncertain economic projections. CBO Director Keith Hall submitted a written follow-up...

HUD Disputes Story That Eric Trump's Wedding Planner Will Lead N.Y. Office

June 16, 2017 A spokesman for the Housing and Urban Development Department on Friday pushed back against reports that event planner and former official for the Eric Trump Foundation Lynne Patton had been chosen to run the agency’s office for New York and New Jersey. “That’s not so, that position’s still vacant,” HUD...

House Democrats Pen Letter Blasting Proposed Federal Retirement Cuts

June 15, 2017 More than 100 Democratic members of Congress sent a letter to House Speaker Paul Ryan and Minority Leader Nancy Pelosi Thursday to oppose the cuts to federal employee retirement programs as outlined in President Trump’s fiscal 2018 budget proposal. Lawmakers, led by Reps. Jamie Raskin, D-Md., and Gerry Connolly, D-Va.,...

VA Reform Heads to Trump, a New Program for Sexual Assault Survivors and More

June 14, 2017 A bipartisan bill that would expedite the firing of employees at the Veteran Affairs Department is poised to become law after the House voted 368-55 Tuesday to send the measure to President Trump’s desk. As Eric Katz reported, House leaders are touting the Department of Veterans Affairs Accountability and Whistleblower...

Appointee Watch: An FBI Director Nominee, Defense Picks and More

June 14, 2017 Leading the recent appointment news was President Trump’s announcement that he would nominate Christopher Wray to serve as FBI director, more than a month after the president controversially fired James Comey. Although currently an attorney in the private sector focusing on white collar criminal defense, Wray has extensive experience in...

Federal Recruiting Could Get Even Harder With Loan Program's Demise

June 13, 2017 The Trump administration wants to axe a program designed to encourage young people to pursue careers in government and the nonprofit sector, but experts said the move would jeopardize efforts to recruit the next generation of federal employees. The plan to eliminate the public service loan forgiveness program is part...

House Democrats Introduce FAA Reform Bill to Counter Air Traffic Control Privatization Plan

June 12, 2017 While Republicans in Congress craft a bill to move the Federal Aviation Administration’s air traffic control services into a private nonprofit organization, Democrats on the House Transportation Committee have already introduced their own measure to reform the agency. The Aviation Funding Stability Act (H.R.2800) has goals similar to those laid...