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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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Nominees to Postal Board Promise to Challenge Trump on Any False Amazon Claims

April 18, 2018 President Trump’s nominees to serve on the U.S. Postal Service’s governing board promised during a confirmation hearing Wednesday to challenge the president's assumptions on the relationship between the mailing agency and Amazon, saying they will advocate for the truth irrespective of any White House pushback. The hearing came as Trump...

Bipartisan Bills Would Allow VA to Research Marijuana, Recruit Doctors Earlier

April 17, 2018 A bipartisan group of lawmakers are pushing to allow the Veterans Affairs Department to conduct research into medical marijuana, saying it could help former military personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder and chronic pain. The top lawmakers on the House Veterans Affairs Committee joined more than 30 colleagues in introducing...

Pruitt and Chief of Staff Personally Approved Pay Raises of Up to 72 Percent for Top Aides, IG Finds

April 16, 2018 Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt personally signed off on the pay raise of at least one employee through an obscure hiring authority under the Safe Drinking Water Act, while his chief of staff signed off on several others on his behalf, according to a new report. The report contradicts...

EPA Violated Multiple Laws in Securing Scott Pruitt's Privacy Booth, GAO Finds

April 16, 2018 The Environmental Protection Agency violated multiple federal laws by spending $43,000 for a soundproof booth connected to Administrator Scott Pruitt’s office, according to a new report. A 2017 spending bill capped at $5,000 expenditures to “furnish, redecorate, purchase furniture for, or make improvements for the office of a presidential appointee.”...

Trump Administration Draws Bipartisan Concerns for Flouting Congress on Federal Prisons Staffing

April 16, 2018 The Trump administration is facing bipartisan pushback as it proceeds with cuts to the federal prison system, despite Congress recently awarding the agency that oversees the system a funding boost and instructing it to increase hiring. The Bureau of Prisons is facing increasing pressure from Capitol Hill as it seeks...

Trump Creates Task Force to Fix the Postal Service, Though Congress Already Has Its Own Ideas

April 13, 2018 President Trump on Thursday issued an executive order to create a task force that will develop recommendations to put the cash-strapped U.S. Postal Service on firmer financial footing, which lawmakers, stakeholders and the agency itself cautiously welcomed while calling on Congress to take more immediate action on solutions that have...

VA Denies Accusations of Restricting Hiring at Local Facilities

April 12, 2018 The Veterans Affairs Department on Thursday pushed back against reports that it is restricting hiring at its local facilities nationwide, saying it has only tightened a freeze at its central office in Washington, D.C. VA’s rebuttal came after a group of Democratic senators wrote to Peter O’Rourke, the department’s chief...

Trump's New Pick to Lead State Promises to Fill 'Demoralizing' Vacancies

April 12, 2018 President Trump’s nominee to lead the State Department promised on Thursday to fill job vacancies that are “demoralizing for the workforce.” Mike Pompeo, currently the CIA director, pledged to reduce the growing number of vacancies departmentwide if he is confirmed as secretary of State. He made his comments before the...

Paul Ryan Will Leave Behind a Legacy of Hostility Towards Feds

April 11, 2018 The most powerful member of the House announced on Wednesday he would retire from Congress at the end of his current term, likely leaving behind a legacy of attempted but seldom realized cuts to federal employees’ pay, benefits and jobs. House Speaker Paul Ryan, R-Wis., said he would step down...

IG Slams Interior for Failing to Support Its Senior Executive Reassignments

April 11, 2018 The Interior Department failed to spell out any coherent or consistent plan to support its reassignment of nearly three-dozen career senior executives last year, according to a new report, leading to the impression the new jobs were chosen for political or punitive reasons. The lack of documentation surrounding Interior’s controversial...