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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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Some Lawmakers Gave Staff Bonuses as Fiscal Cliff Loomed

March 11, 2013 Nearly a quarter of House lawmakers gave bonuses to their staff in the months leading up to expected tax hikes and spending cuts dubbed the fiscal cliff, according to a CNN report. Representatives from both parties defended the late 2012 bonuses as a reward for good work and an incentive...

USDA Doesn’t Pay for the Wine-Tasting Anyway

March 8, 2013 The Agriculture Department does not fund or host either of two conferences a Republican lawmaker highlighted as an example of potential agency savings to avoid employee furloughs, USDA officials have said. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., in the most recent in a string of letters sent to the Obama administration regarding...

Lawmakers Propose Lower Cap on USPS Executive Pay

March 7, 2013 A bipartisan coalition of lawmakers has proposed a bill to lower the maximum compensation for U.S. Postal Service executives. Rep. Morgan Griffith, R-Va., authored the bill, which would reduce maximum pay to level II of the Executive Schedule, or $178,700. Currently, the maximum salary for Postal Service employees is level...

Continuing Resolution Muddies USPS Plan to End Saturday Delivery

March 7, 2013 The House has included a provision in the continuing resolution to fund government for the remainder of fiscal 2013 to mandate six-day mail delivery, posing a possible snag in the U.S. Postal Service’s plan to eliminate Saturday letter delivery. The continuing resolution, which the House passed Wednesday, made reference to...

Senator to USDA: Cancel Wine Tastings Before Furloughing Food Inspectors

March 5, 2013 Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., has called for the Agriculture Department to cut conference spending to avoid employee furloughs, the latest in a series of suggestions stemming from the lawmaker’s ongoing effort to “prioritize” sequestration cuts. Coburn pointed to two conferences in particular -- the California Small Farm Conference and the...

House GOP Spending Plan Continues Sequester, Federal Pay Freeze

March 4, 2013 A Republican lawmaker has included an extension to the federal pay freeze in a proposal to fund government and avoid a shutdown after March 27, when the current appropriations agreement runs out. House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rep. Hal Rogers, R-Ky., maintained sequestration-level spending in the bill to fund government through...

Sequestration May Add to the Postal Service’s Financial Troubles

March 4, 2013 U.S. Postal Service officials expressed concern over the effects sequestration will have on business, despite being exempt from the $85 billion in cuts, The Hill reported. USPS is not directly affected by sequestration cuts because it does not receive taxpayer funds, instead relying on its own sales for funding. But,...

An Actual Sequestration Furlough Notice

March 1, 2013 A formal sequestration furlough notice sent by the Justice Department ahead of across-the-board budgets cuts was posted online by a lawmaker on Friday. “We recognizethe difficult personal financial implications" of forced unpaid leave, Justice told assistant U.S. attorneys in the Feb. 20 notice. “This furlough is necessitated by the Budget...

Bill Would Cut Fed Workforce by 10 Percent in Three Years

March 1, 2013 A Republican lawmaker has proposed a bill to cut the federal workforce by ten percent in three years, claiming the move would save $35 billion over five years. The Federal Workforce Reduction Through Attrition Act proposes to limit new hires to one employee for every three that retire or leave....

Most Fed Bonuses Forbidden Under Sequestration

February 28, 2013 Most awards and bonuses given to federal employees would be canceled indefinitely under sequestration, according to a new White House memo. The Office of Management and Budget guidance said “discretionary monetary awards to employees should occur only if legally required until further notice.” OMB released the memo as $85 billion...