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Federal News Countdown: GOP platform, FEMA funding and sequestration

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Jeff Neal, senior vice president, ICF International
Rob Burton, partner, Venable law firm

Jeff Neal’s stories
#3 GOP platform angers federal labor leaders
From The Washington Post:

The platform Republicans adopted at their Tampa convention Tuesday doesn’t go into great detail on important issues affecting the federal workforce, but what the planks do say is enough to raise the ire of labor leaders. The most specific call is for “a reduction, through attrition, in the federal payroll of at least 10 percent.” The document does not indicate if that would affect all agencies equally or if some would take a bigger hit than others.

#2 Hurricane Isaac aftermath: Will FEMA have enough money?
From The Christian Science Monitor:

The US spent $141 billion for cleanup and recovery after hurricane Katrina hit in 2005. How much will hurricane Isaac cost? While it is too early to know the answer, experts say it would not be surprising if the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) needs to ask Congress for more money once it assesses the damage from the storm.

#1 To hero-astronaut Armstrong, moonwalk ‘just’ a job
From Federal News Radio (AP):

Neil Armstrong made “one giant leap for mankind” with a small step onto the moon. He commanded the historic landing of the Apollo 11 spacecraft on the moon July 20, 1969, capping the most daring of the 20th century’s scientific expeditions and becoming the first man to walk on the moon.

Rob Burton’s stories
#3 VA seeks outsider to review conference planning policies
From Federal News Radio:

The Veterans Affairs Department wants a contractor to review the agency’s conference planning and conference acquisition policies, according to a request for information in FedBizOpps. The solicitation comes weeks after revelations that VA had spent a total of $5 million on two conferences last year, according to findings from a preliminary investigation by the VA’s Office of the Inspector General. Giveaways at these two HR conferences included spa treatments, concert tickets and stretch limo rides.

#2 Sequestration could spell $39B in cuts to civilian agency budgets
From Federal News Radio:

Civilian agencies may lose almost $40 billion dollars in top-line funding if sequestration goes into effect on Jan. 2, according to a new analysis by the Professional Services Council. Using fiscal 2012 funding as a baseline, PSC calculated overall civilian discretionary spending would decline by $39 billion and that individual agency budgets would decline by 7.8 percent.

#1 GOP platform takes aim at federal workforce
From Federal News Radio:

The Republican Party unveiled its national platform Tuesday, revealing its plan to downsize the federal workforce, trim federal benefits and privatize airport screeners. The platform calls for a wholesale reinvention of the federal government, which has become “bloated, antiquated and unresponsive to taxpayers,” according to the plan.