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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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Obama Vetoes Bill Affecting Troop Pay and Benefits

October 22, 2015 This story has been updated. President Obama on Thursday vetoed a major Defense bill that contains a pay raise for service members and several other provisions affecting their benefits. The veto signing, which involved a photo-op for the press, happened late Thursday afternoon. The main sticking point over the fiscal...

Obama Vetoes Bill Affecting Troop Pay and Benefits

October 22, 2015 This story has been updated. President Obama on Thursday vetoed a major Defense bill that contains a pay raise for service members and several other provisions affecting their benefits. The veto signing, which involved a photo-op for the press, happened late Thursday afternoon. The main sticking point over the fiscal...

VA Senior Execs Subpoenaed To Testify Over Pay Raises, Relocation Benefits

October 21, 2015 A congressional panel on Wednesday subpoenaed five employees of the Veterans Affairs Department to testify next month about questionable relocation expenses and pay raises for senior executives. “Today represents just the fourth time in committee history that a subpoena has been called for, and the first time that we will...

Presidential Hopeful Says It Should Be Easier to Fire All Feds

October 20, 2015 Senate Democrats on Tuesday blocked a bill that would allow the head of the Veterans Affairs Department to more easily fire or demote any employee for poor performance or misconduct. The bill’s sponsor, Sen. Marco Rubio, R-Fla., sought to expedite consideration of the legislation via unanimous consent, but Democrat Richard...

Government Doled Out More Money in 2014 to Help Feds Repay Student Loans

October 20, 2015 The federal government last year increased its investment in a popular but rare perk – the repayment of federal employees’ student loans. Thirty-three agencies awarded more than $58.7 million in student loan repayment benefits to 8,469 federal employees in 2014. That’s more than a 15 percent increase from 2013 in...

VA Managers Reportedly Curse, Dish About Sex, And Force Workers to Ask Permission to Use the Bathroom

October 19, 2015 This story has been updated with a link to the report, which is now fully redacted. Tales of harassment, discrimination, bullying, and incompetence color the 40-page report compiled by a federal employee union on some managers at the Veterans Affairs Department. The American Federation of Government Employees Local 17 reportedly...

VA Benefits Official Resigns

October 16, 2015 Allison Hickey, undersecretary for benefits at the Veterans Affairs Department, has resigned, according to a statement from VA Secretary Bob McDonald. Hickey, who has led the Veterans Benefits Administration since 2011, shepherded the department’s effort to shrink the massive disability claims backlog from a high of 611,000 claims in 2013...

Shutdowns Affect Feds More Acutely Than Debt Ceiling Woes

October 16, 2015 Deadlines again loom for keeping the government open and dealing with the debt limit. So, which is worse for federal employees: A government shutdown or a debt ceiling crisis? That depends on whether you are looking at short-term, or long-term consequences. Federal workers likely would feel the effects of a...

It's Official: Retirees Will Not Receive a COLA in 2016

October 15, 2015 This story has been updated. Federal and military retirees will not receive a cost-of-living adjustment for 2016. The Bureau of Labor Statistics on Thursday published the final data point used to calculate the annual COLA for all retirees and disabled veterans. There will be no benefit increase, largely because of...

Military Pay and Benefits in Limbo As Obama Weighs Veto

October 15, 2015 This story has been updated. The pay and benefits of troops and their families next year remain in limbo as President Obama weighs a veto of the fiscal 2016 Defense authorization bill. The massive Defense bill includes a 1.3 percent pay raise in 2016 for troops, an overhaul of the...