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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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Military Pay Raise, Federal Hiring, VA Firing and More

May 4, 2016 Military personnel would receive a 2.1 percent pay raise next year under a major House bill that lawmakers have advanced. The House Armed Services Committee approved last Thursday the massive fiscal 2017 National Defense Authorization Act, which includes the salary boost. The 2.1 percent bump is 0.5 percentage points higher...

Senators Seek Student Loan Tax Break for Severely Disabled, Including Vets

May 3, 2016 Americans with permanent disabilities, including veterans, would not have to pay taxes on student loans forgiven by the federal government and private lenders under a new bipartisan bill in the Senate. The Stop Taxing Death and Disability Act would eliminate the tax that the Internal Revenue Service levies on forgiven...

Panel Repeals Cuts to Pentagon Travel Per Diems

May 2, 2016 A House panel once again has approved legislation that would repeal cuts to per diems for service members and Defense civilian employees on long-term government travel. The fiscal 2017 Defense authorization bill, which the House Armed Services Committee reported out on April 28, included an amendment scrapping a 2014 Pentagon...

Senators Unveil Massive Bill That Would Change How VA Manages Its Workforce

April 28, 2016 Senators on Thursday unveiled a sweeping legislative package that would affect how the Veterans Affairs Department hires, fires, pays and manages its workforce of more than 300,000 employees. The nearly 400-page omnibus bill, known as the Veterans First Act, would move senior health care executives into Title 38, allowing the...

Draft Legislation Would Revamp How VA Employees Are Hired, Fired and Paid

April 27, 2016 Draft Senate legislation circulating would significantly revamp how the Veterans Affairs Department pays and fires some senior executives, as well as toughen the disciplinary process for all employees. VA senior executives in health care leadership would be subject to a new personnel system under Title 38, with new rules on...

TSP Officials Say They Might Need to Ask for More Money

April 25, 2016 The agency that administers the Thrift Savings Plan already has obligated nearly 70 percent of its fiscal 2016 budget, and might have to ask for more money, officials said on Monday. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board’s budget allocation for fiscal 2016 is $220 million, and by the end of...

Bill Helping Combat-Wounded Vets Recoup Lost Severance Pay Advances

April 22, 2016 Lawmakers have advanced legislation that would reimburse veterans with combat-related injuries potentially thousands of dollars in lost severance pay. The Senate Finance Committee approved the 2016 Taxpayer Protection Act on Wednesday, which included an amendment requiring the Defense Department to pay back all veterans affected by the accounting error, going...

More Senior Executives Honored For Their Work in 2015

April 21, 2016 The number of senior executives receiving the nation’s highest award for civil service nearly doubled between 2014 and 2015, after a few years of belt-tightening by the Obama administration. Forty-three top civil servants will be honored Thursday at a black-tie banquet sponsored by the Senior Executives Association at the State...

No One Really Understands How Vets’ Preference Works in Federal Hiring

April 20, 2016 Many veterans still do not understand how vets’ preference works in federal hiring – and it’s a factor in complaints filed over application of the benefit designed to help former service members find jobs and increase diversity in government. “There is a myth [among veterans] that vets’ preference is a...

Lawmakers Poised To Deny Themselves a Pay Raise Again

April 19, 2016 It looks like lawmakers will deny themselves a pay raise for the eighth consecutive year. A House Appropriations subcommittee on Wednesday will mark up the fiscal 2017 legislative branch spending bill, which funds various administrative operations on Capitol Hill, including office expenses and pay for members of Congress. A provision...

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