Trump makes new DHS appointments

The Federal Headlines is a daily compilation of the stories you hear discussed on Federal Drive with Tom Temin.

In today’s Top Federal Headlines, President Donald Trump lays out who he would like to run Immigration and Customs Enforcement, along with another critical leadership post in DHS.

  • President Trump makes two new appointments in the Homeland Security Department. Trump chose Thomas Homan as acting director of Immigration and Customs Enforcement. The president also nominated Elaine Duke as deputy secretary of DHS. Duke has worked nearly 30 years with the federal government. She served as undersecretary of management for Presidents Obama and Bush. (Department of Homeland Security)
  • The Chief of Naval Operations Adm. John Richardson said the Navy’s new leadership framework is a wake-up call. Richardson told Federal News Radio the Navy needs to be more competitive and it is choosing to do that through its leaders. The Navy released its new leadership framework, which emphasizes character in sailors last week. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Pentagon and White House said the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff’s role on the National Security Council is not being downgraded. President Trump’s National Security Council will differ from former President Obama’s in several key ways, including the fact that for the first time ever, the president’s chief political strategist will sit on the NSC’s Principals Committee; meanwhile, the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff will not. But spokesmen for both DoD and the White House said the chairman’s role is not being downgraded — he or she will still attend NSC meetings when military issues are on the agenda, but not necessarily when the committee is only discussing homeland security matters.
  • Agencies have new rules for issuing regulations. Under a new executive order from President Trump, agencies will have to identify at least two existing regulations they will repeal for every new one they develop. The order said departments will have to ensure the cost of new regulations is offset by the regulations they get rid of so there are no increases. (Federal News Radio)
  • This agency faces shrinkage under the Trump administration priorities, but the workload of some of its employees is on the rise. The EPA faces a mini-tsunami of Freedom of Information Act requests. In the week following President Trump’s inauguration, it took in 200 new ones. During the same week last year, it received about a third that many. EPA FOIA officials said 20 percent of the requests relate to climate change, social media, and Trump himself. (Federal News Radio)
  • Acting Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Catherine McCabe reassured EPA employees, the hold on new regulations and the recent hiring freeze is a normal part of a presidential transition. John O’Grady, the leader of an EPA employee union, shared the acting administrator’s message with his members. EPA said no programs have been delayed and all grants are moving forward as planned.
  • Another exemption to the Trump administration’s federal hiring freeze emerges. The General Services Administration’s Technology Transformation Service, and particularly the 18F organization, received some good news at a recent town hall meeting. Multiple sources confirm Trump administration officials said the upcoming guidance from the Office of Management and Budget to implement the hiring freeze of federal employees likely will not impact 18F or the U.S. Digital Service. Gerrit Lansing, the White House’s chief digital officer, and Reed Cordish, the assistant to the President for Intragovernmental and Technology Initiatives, assured TTS employees that the administration didn’t want to inhibit their ability to bring in talented IT employees. (Federal News Radio)
  • Former OMB controller Dave Mader has a new job. He joins Deloitte Consulting’s federal government practice as chief strategy officer for its civilian sector. Mader spent two-plus years as OMB controller, leading several initiatives including the move to shared services and reducing improper payments. Mader will help agencies on programs and projects requiring cross-agency collaboration. (Deloitte)
  • Thirteen percent of veterans used the Choice Program between November 2014 and September 2015, according to the Veterans Affairs Department’s inspector general. VA said it’s made progress, community care authorizations went up 25% in 2016. The IG said the VA needs to find ways to streamline veterans access to care, and the department agreed. (Department of Veterans Affairs Inspector General)

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