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Kellie Lunney

Senior Correspondent Kellie Lunney covers federal pay and benefits issues, the budget process and financial management. After starting her career in journalism at Government Executive in 2000, she returned in 2008 after four years at sister publication National Journal writing profiles of influential Washingtonians. In 2006, she received a fellowship at the Ohio State University through the Kiplinger Public Affairs in Journalism program, where she worked on a project that looked at rebuilding affordable housing in Mississippi after Hurricane Katrina. She has appeared on C-SPAN’s Washington Journal, NPR and Feature Story News, where she participated in a weekly radio roundtable on the 2008 presidential campaign. In the late 1990s, she worked at the Housing and Urban Development Department as a career employee. She is a graduate of Colgate University.
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Defense Secretary Warns of ‘Widespread Negative Consequences’ If Senior Executive Corps is Cut

July 20, 2016 Reducing the number of senior executives at the Pentagon would have “widespread negative consequences” on the department’s mission-critical programs and services, the Defense secretary told the chairman of the Senate Armed Services Committee in a new letter. In a 23-page letter to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., Defense Secretary Ash Carter...

Most Americans Are Worried About Affordable Housing But Neither Party Is Really Talking About It

July 19, 2016 Seventy-one percent of Americans think that affordable housing should be a main focus of the political parties’ platforms during the 2016 presidential campaign, and 74 percent said they are more likely to support the candidate who elevates the issue, according to a new poll. Nearly 60 percent of those surveyed...

Long-Term Care Insurance Premiums Will Increase An Average of 83 Percent on Nov. 1

July 18, 2016 Some federal employees and retirees with long-term care insurance could see a triple-digit increase in their new premium rates, which take effect on Nov. 1. The rate increase, which will affect most enrollees, will vary widely between 0 percent and 126 percent, depending on an enrollee’s option under the Federal...

Are Federal Pay and Benefits Too Generous?

July 15, 2016 The federal government is too generous with the pay and benefits it provides to its workforce, according to a conservative Washington think tank. Congress should revamp the General Schedule pay scale so it is more in line with private-sector pay and “emphasize performance-based increases over automatic increases,” reduce the amount...

Former Presidential Candidate Tries Again To Remove Bad VA Employees

July 14, 2016 Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., is sponsoring a new accountability bill that aims to make it easier to fire and demote all Veterans Affairs employees, and would prevent department senior executives from receiving any bonuses over the next five years. The legislation is a companion bill to one Rep. Jeff Miller,...

House: No Bonuses For DHS Officials Who Can’t Take Care of Government Cars

July 13, 2016 Homeland Security would have to withhold bonuses from officials who fail to properly manage the department’s vehicle fleets under a bipartisan bill the House just passed. The DHS Stop Asset and Vehicle Excess Act, which the chamber passed on Monday, aims to enforce greater accountability on officials with vehicle fleet...

Outlook for 2017 COLA Will Get a Bit Clearer Later This Week

July 12, 2016 This Friday, federal retirees will receive the latest data point in the calculation of the much-anticipated 2017 cost-of-living adjustment. The Bureau of Labor Statistics on July 15 will release the Consumer Price Index for June. While the numbers for July, August and September are the most important figures in the...

Trump Wants to Reward Good VA Employees, and Fire the Bad Ones

July 11, 2016 Presumptive Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump on Monday outlined a 10-point plan to reform the Veterans Affairs Department and improve vets’ access to health care, promising to financially reward employees who do a good job, and fire those who don’t. “One of the most important reforms we can make is...

House, Senate Disagree Over Veterans’ Preference

July 11, 2016 The federal government's practices for hiring veterans have emerged as a sticking point between the House and the Senate. An amendment in the House-passed fiscal 2017 financial services spending bill would prohibit funds from being used to change the current policy on veterans’ preference in federal hiring. That measure is...

As VA Tackles Veteran Suicide, Its Image Problem Continues to Hurt Doc Recruitment

July 7, 2016 Veterans Affairs has hired nearly 800 psychologists and psychiatrists since 2014, but it still struggles to attract all kinds of doctors because of the department’s image problems, said the VA undersecretary of health. “Our applications for clinical positions across the board are down 78 percent,” since the patient wait times...

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