Monday federal headlines- July 20, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive and In Depth radio shows each day. Our headlines are updated twice per day — once in the morning and once in the afternoon — with the latest news affecting federal employees and contractors.

  • Defense Secretary Ash Carter asked leaders of the military services to determine what steps can be taken to ensure people are safe at military installations. Governors in at least six states ordered members of the National Guard to be armed. Florida Gov. Rick Scott moved the National Guard there out of storefronts and into armories. The moves come in the wake of a shooting rampage that killed four Marines and a sailor in Chattanooga. Army Chief of Staff Gen. Ray Odierno cautioned against over-arming domestically-based service members, citing incidences of accidental shootings. (Federal News Radio)
  • Congress has a lot of work to do if it wants to avoid a government shutdown either when the fiscal year ends on Sept. 30 or some time after that. On the to-do list are getting transportation funds moving , finding a way to resolve the sequestration question, renewing annual tax policies and easing the debt limit. Majority Whip Sen. John Cornyn  (R-Texas) said the spending discussion won’t happen until September and could drag to the end of the calendar year. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Health and Human Services inspector general said the department overstated its claims of savings from the Fraud Detection System. Officials at the Center for Medicare and Medicaid Services reported $454 million in savings last year alone. They reported a 10:1 ratio of savings to dollars spent on the four-year-old system. But, the IG said a more realistic estimate is about one third of that; closer to $133 million. The IG said the rest may never actually be realized. He found a savings-to-spending ratio of slightly less than three to one. (Federal News Radio)A new flag is hanging in the State Department’s hall of flags: Cuba. The United States and Cuba restored full diplomatic relations just after midnight this morning. The flag  was suspended in 1961 during the John F. Kennedy administration. Later today, Cuban officials will inaugurate their mission in Washington: upgrading it to a full embassy and flying a flag. It’s at 2630 16th St. N.W. (Federal News Radio)