Thursday federal headlines – October 22, 2015

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on the Federal Drive and In Depth radio shows.

  • The House passed a bill yesterday to keep the government from totally defaulting on its debt as of Nov. 3. But the White House, Democrats and a host of good-government groups say it’s a poor substitute for what’s needed to keep the government from defaulting. The Default Prevention Act would authorize the Treasury Department funds to pay the principal, interest and social security trust fund. The White House said President Barack Obama would veto the bill because it only pays some of the country’s debt. (Congress)
  • Rep. Scott Rigell (R-Va.) has introduced the America First Act, which would replace three-quarters of the sequester cuts offset by a combination of mandatory savings and revenues from limiting tax expenditures. Supporters say it could reduce that debt by as much as $2.5 trillion over the next 20 years. (Rep. Scott Rigell)
  • The White House is losing one of its deputy chief technology officers. Ryan Panchadsaram is leaving the government after three years and returning to San Francisco. Panchadsaram was a founding member of the U.S. Digital Service team. He also served on the response team that helped fix the HealthCare.gov website.  During his time at the White House, Panchadsaram oversaw the implementation of the Open Data Executive Order and the launch of a new Data.gov.
  • Former Defense Secretary Robert Gates tells the Senate Armed Services Committee he thinks the Defense Department should just accept the most recent NDAA bill because there’s “no other alternative.” Current Secretary Ash Carter has publicly opposed the spending measure. It is currently awaiting President Barack Obama’s signature or veto. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Veterans Affairs Committee in the House has subpoenaed five employees of Veterans Affairs to testify next month, regarding alleged misuse of relocation expenses and pay raises for senior executives in the Veterans Affairs administration that an inspector general report found. The five employees were subpoenaed by Committee Chairman Jeff Miller after they did not show up to a hearing on the matter on Wednesday. (Federal News Radio)
  • Some members of industry say the Government Publishing Office is denying them access to a fair and open competition in the secure credentials space. GPO, Congress and industry can’t agree on how they should interpret Title 44. It lets GPO produce secure credential cards for agencies without abiding the Federal Acquisition Regulation. GPO Director Davita Vance-Cooks tells the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee she doesn’t understand the concerns over competition because agencies are not required to use GPO. She said the agency doesn’t promote itself as the sole producer of secure credential cards. (Federal News Radio)

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