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Eric Katz

Senior Correspondent Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and television news programs. Eric joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 and previously worked for The Financial Times. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.
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Senate Confirms New OMB Director

April 24, 2013 The Senate unanimously confirmed President Obama’s nominee to lead his budget office with a 96-0 vote Wednesday. Sylvia Mathews Burwell will serve as director of the Office of Management and Budget, the first Senate-confirmed chief since now-Treasury Secretary Jack Lew left the post to become Obama’s chief of staff in...

Reid Proposes Temporary Sequestration Suspension

April 24, 2013 Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., has introduced legislation to end sequestration and restore normal funding levels for the remainder of fiscal 2013. The bill (S. 788) would use savings from “winding down the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan to prevent cuts that will harm our national security and our...

USPS Renews Air Contract with FedEx

April 24, 2013 The U.S. Postal Service has renewed its contract with FedEx to provide air transportation service for priority and express mail. The contract will last seven years and is valued at $7.5 billion. “The Postal Service conducted a competitive procurement for the transportation of domestic mail products by air,” USPS said...

Full Sequestration Would Force Army to Drop 100,000 Soldiers, Officials Say

April 23, 2013 The U.S. Army would shed at least 100,000 soldiers -- in addition to the cuts already scheduled from the post-war drawdown -- if the full, 10-year sequestration program goes into effect, according to service officials. Army Secretary John McHugh and Chief of Staff Ray Odierno told the Senate Armed Forces...

TSP Nixes Idea to Offer Extra Loan Assistance to Furloughed Feds

April 22, 2013 The Thrift Savings Plan has rejected proposals to allow federal employees to take two loans through their retirement packages, despite calls for assistance from cash-strapped workers facing pay cuts due to sequestration furloughs. Officials at a Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board meeting Monday also discussed changing the plan's default investment...

Committee Wants Update on Postal Regulatory Commission Travel Spending

April 19, 2013 Leaders of a Senate oversight committee are requesting follow-up information on travel expenditures at the Postal Regulatory Commission. Sens. Tom Carper, D-Del., and Tom Coburn, R-Okla., the chairman and ranking member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, made the request in a letter to PRC Chairwoman Ruth Goldway....

'High Probability' of Furloughs Signaled for Two USDA Agencies

April 18, 2013 Two agencies within the Agriculture Department are facing possible furloughs, according to testimony Secretary Tom Vilsack delivered to Congress this week. Employees at the Farm Service Agency and Rural Development division could be forced to take up to 10 furloughs days, Vilsack told members of the House Appropriations’ agriculture subcommittee....

Lawmakers Put Their Benefits -- And Yours -- At Risk

April 18, 2013 For Republican Rep. Ted Yoho, it is all about trust. “When members of Congress break the law, they break trust,” Yoho said. And for the Florida lawmaker, trust stands for Trust Returned to the United States Taxpayer, or the TRUST Act, which he recently proposed. Yoho’s bill would force any...

Dramatic Workforce Reductions, Rate Hikes Likely for USPS

April 17, 2013 Lawmakers and U.S. Postal Service officials on Wednesday largely agreed on the need to reduce the agency’s workforce and increase rates where feasible in order for the agency to reach fiscal solvency. Witnesses and members of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee said during a hearing that USPS must...

Bill Granting GAO More Power Clears House

April 16, 2013 A bill to strengthen the Government Accountability Office’s powers passed the House unanimously Monday evening. The GAO Improvement Act (H.R. 1162), which would increase the comptroller general’s investigative and audit authorities, did not face any opposition from the lower chamber, passing 408-0. The bill, which will now move to the...