AUTHOR ARCHIVES

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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An Insatiable Appetite for Pay and Benefits Cuts

June 7, 2012 There are many issues the 112th Congress is loath to tackle, but federal employees’ pay and benefits isn’t one of them. It seems the start of each season ushers in a raft of new proposals from lawmakers seeking to further freeze federal salaries, downsize the workforce or require government employees...

OPM chips away at retirement claims logjam

June 5, 2012 The backlog of federal retirement claims is down 19 percent since January, according to the latest numbers from the Office of Personnel Management. OPM reported a backlog of 49,473 retirement claims in May, a 19 percent decrease from January, when the pileup stood at 61,108 claims. The agency received 477...

VA seeks to improve treatment of women vets

June 5, 2012 Women veterans suffer more from service-related physical and mental health problems than male vets, and are less likely to seek health care benefits, according to a draft report from the Veterans Affairs Department. Studies indicate that 31 percent of women vets have both medical and mental health conditions compared with...

More Cuts On the Way

June 1, 2012 It seems odd to use the word “budget” to describe the federal government’s annual fiscal plan. After all, a budget implies frugality, and let’s face it: The $3.5 trillion federal budget isn’t exactly a model of restraint. Everyone agrees we need to spend less, but no one agrees on how...

Serving Up Annuities

June 1, 2012 Everyone knows that when you owe Uncle Sam money, he likes to be paid promptly and in full. When the government owes you a check, well, let’s just say “promptly” and “in full” are not consistently applied. The folks who are waiting for the Office of Personnel Management to process...

Senators join forces to contain TRICARE hikes

May 18, 2012 Increases to certain health care insurance fees in the TRICARE program would be capped under a bipartisan bill introduced in the Senate on Friday. The 2012 Military Health Care Protection Act links hikes to enrollment fees, deductibles and drug co-payments for military retirees to their annuity. It requires that the...

House approves military pay raise

May 18, 2012 The House on Friday passed a bill giving military personnel a 1.7 percent pay raise in 2013, as well as limiting increases to certain prescription drug co-pays under the TRICARE program. The chamber spent Thursday and Friday debating the fiscal 2013 National Defense Authorization Act, eventually passing it Friday afternoon...

Panel advances military pay raise

May 17, 2012 A House panel Thursday approved legislation that gives military personnel a 1.7 percent pay raise in fiscal 2013 and provides more money for health and wellness programs for service members and their families. The Appropriations Committee advanced by voice vote a bill funding the Defense Department in fiscal 2013. It...

Defensive Positions

May 17, 2012 The federal civilian workforce has labored under a two-year pay freeze and countless efforts to further reduce their wages and benefits during the past year. It appears that military families are not immune to fears over pay and benefits either. Changes to pensions, pay and other benefits rank at the...

Lawmakers urged to bring Hatch Act into the age of telework and social media

May 16, 2012 Congress should address technology and social media in current legislation that reforms the law restricting government employees from certain political activities, a panel of witnesses told House lawmakers Wednesday. Legislation circulating in the House and Senate would update the 1939 Hatch Act, which prohibits federal, state and local government employees...

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