Legislation to abolish EPA introduced

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

  • While the Trump administration mulls over potential changes at the Environmental Protection agency, one Florida congressman wants to abolish it entirely. Rep. Matt Gaetz (R-Fla.) introduced a bill to terminate the EPA. Gaetz told a Florida TV station that states now have the resources to take over the agency’s duties. (WEAR ABC 3)
  • Acting General Services Administration Administrator Saul Japson said the GSA is collecting more information on the Old Post Office Pavilion lease to the Trump Organization. He told Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) GSA will meet with representatives of the Trump International Hotel to resolve whether the lease is conflict of interest for President Donald Trump. (Sen. Tom Carper)
  • President Donald Trump’s nominee for Army Secretary withdrew himself from consideration. The Pentagon said in a statement that Defense Secretary Jim Mattis was disappointed by Vincent Viola’s decision to drop out of the running, but that Mattis will make a recommendation to the president soon on another nominee for secretary of the Army. Viola, a billionaire investor and businessman, was the first Trump nominee to withdraw prior to confirmation. His decision was first reported by Military Times, which reported Viola found it too difficult to disentangle himself from his business holdings in order to comply with Defense ethics rules. (Federal News Radio)
  • An agreement has been reached between the Defense Department and Lockheed Martin for 90 more F-35 aircraft. The company praised President Donald Trump’s involvement in trying to cut costs on the new fighter jet. Lockheed said it was able to cut $728 million or 8 percent from the last contract. It said it would also create 1,800 more jobs in Fort Worth, Texas. (Lockheed Martin)
  • One military expert wants the military to change the way service members are assigned jobs. Tim Kane of the Hoover Institution said commanders should be given authority over who serves in their unit. Kane also wants commanders to have the ability to directly hire. Kane said the changes could better the military’s talent management. (Hoover Institution)
  • The new deputy director of the CIA represents a first. President Donald Trump names Gina Haspel as the second in command. A 32-year veteran of the agency, Haspel is the first female career officer to reach the deputy director level. Before her promotion, she was the deputy director of the national clandestine service. Earlier, Haspel was that service’s chief of staff, and also worked overseas as an undercover agent. Director Mike Pompeo called her a devoted patriot. (CIA)
  • The Veterans Affairs Department can’t accurately track how much time its employees spend on union activities. The Government Accountability Office said VA doesn’t have a standard way to track official time. That’s because some VA facilities use the department’s new time and attendance system. Others are still on the old system. GAO said VA employees also haven’t received good training on how to record official time in the new system. (Government Accountability Office)
  • The Federal Communications Commission wants to make sure it’s not dating itself with old regulations. FCC wants public feedback on rules that became 10-years-old between 2011 and 2014. In its Federal Register notice, FCC listed all the rules subjected to review in accordance with the Regulatory Flexibility Act. Comments are due by May 4, 2017. (Federal Register)
  • The National Institute of Standards and Technology wants to know about how best to secure the IT supply chain and improve cyber defenses at agencies. NIST kicked off an anonymous survey looking for insights from the public and private sectors as well as academia and international experts. The survey is part of NIST’s efforts to conduct research and build the tools to measure and assess the actual effectiveness of cybersecurity strategies and controls. The end result will be a new report to help organizations assess how they manage risk and protect their systems and data. (CyberChain)

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