Large departments like Defense want to reduce their dependence on other agencies, top officials say.
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Democrats want to complete a conference on the spending measure by the end of the month and send it to President Bush for an expected veto.
Measure would place veterans who are small business owners at the top of the priority list for receiving federal contracts.
Amendment to withhold funding for pet projects until all eligible children under 18 are receiving health coverage aims to put senators on the spot.
Charles Grassley, ranking member of the Finance Committee, repeats charges that Lurita Doan improperly interfered with information technology contract.
Career civil servants face much harsher consequences for breaking the law than most political appointees, witnesses say.
Amendment would forbid federal employees from using appropriated funds for unjustified premium airline tickets.
The appropriations measure now moves to conference with the House, which passed a $53.5 billion version in July.
Vendor has too much control over the new system, union president argues.
Watchdog agency concludes that Homeland Security does not take the necessary steps to prevent contractors in service roles from overstepping their bounds.