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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Committee approves bill that would forgive debt for some disaster assistance recipients

May 27, 2011 A Senate panel has approved legislation that would waive certain debts for those who received disaster assistance erroneously. The Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed the 2011 Disaster Assistance Recoupment Fairness Act on Thursday, after rejecting it last week. The bill's sponsor, Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., tightened up some...

Presidential hopeful would freeze federal salaries, reduce retirement benefits

May 25, 2011 GOP presidential hopeful Tim Pawlenty on Wednesday called for freezing government salaries, reducing benefits and shrinking the federal workforce. "In many cases, public employees are overpaid and over-benefited compared to their private sector counterparts," the former Minnesota governor told an audience at the Cato Institute, a libertarian think tank in...

Women in government are slightly less satisfied than men

May 24, 2011 Women in the federal government report slightly less workplace satisfaction than their male colleagues, according to a new analysis by the Partnership for Public Service and Deloitte. Of female respondents, 66.1 percent reported overall satisfaction with the workplace compared with 67.9 percent of male respondents, the analysis found. Categories included...

OMB launches pilot projects to crack down on improper payments

May 24, 2011 The Office of Management and Budget has launched four pilot projects to help states and local communities tackle improper payments. The test programs, announced Monday on OMB's blog by Director Jack Lew, involve the Agriculture, Health and Human Services, Labor and Treasury departments. The projects, which are a result of...

Democrats still won’t rule out cuts to federal pay and benefits

May 23, 2011 This story has been updated with additional comment. Everything is on the table -- that's the mantra many Democratic lawmakers are repeating on deficit reduction, and it includes potential cuts to federal pay and benefits. "We ought to all be willing to put everything on the table," said House Minority...

Senate panel defeats bill that would forgive debt for some disaster victims

May 20, 2011 A bill that would waive certain debts for those who received disaster assistance erroneously from the government has experienced a setback. The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on Wednesday voted down the legislation (S.792), introduced by Sen. Mark Pryor, D-Ark., that would allow the head of the Federal...

GAO: Defense underestimates costs of housing allowance

May 19, 2011 The Defense Department significantly underestimates the amount of money it needs to pay for service members' housing allowances when preparing its annual budget request, according to a new report from the Government Accountability Office. Since 2006, the Pentagon has miscalculated the total costs of paying the housing allowance to service...

Paying for It

May 19, 2011 Barely a day goes by that a new proposal doesn't emerge targeting federal pay and benefits as a way to reduce the deficit. In fact, it is becoming increasingly difficult to keep track of them, though both supporters and opponents remain helpfully vocal on the subject. "I believe that these...

Hiring reform shows progress, OPM chief says

May 18, 2011 The bulk of federal jobs now are filled using resumes and cover letters and no longer require knowledge, skills and abilities statements, the government's human resources chief said on Wednesday. Ninety-six percent of job announcements no longer require KSA essays, while 91 percent of positions are filled based on resumes...

CBO: Deal to avert government shutdown increases spending for fiscal year

May 17, 2011 The fiscal 2011 appropriations law enacted in April to avoid a government shutdown increases spending by $3.2 billion between now and the end of September, according to a new partial estimate from the Congressional Budget Office. The nonpartisan office found that total discretionary outlays in 2011 will be higher because...

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