Members of Congress want feds to get paid during shutdown

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

  • More members of Congress want to make sure you get paid if the government shuts down. Reps. Don Beyer (D-Va) and Rob Wittman (R-Va) introduced the Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act. Furloughed federal employees would be compensated in the event Congress can’t pass some sort of funding solution. (Rep. Don Beyer)
  • An Ohio lawmaker wants make government shutdowns a thing of the past. Sen. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) introduced his End Government Shutdowns Act. It would create an automatic continuing resolution if a budget isn’t passed by Oct. 1. This is the fifth time Portman has introduced this bill. (Sen. Rob Portman)
  • The White House reiterated it was confident that a government shutdown on Saturday is not in the cards. Press Secretary Sean Spicer said the work by Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has been “very positive” and a shutdown is unlikely. Spicer said OMB and lawmakers are negotiating and he expects them to come to an agreement. They have until 11:59 p.m. Friday to do so. (Federal News Radio)
  • Vendors and agencies are optimistic about a new strategy for a governmentwide cyber program. The planning to update the $6 billion cyber program known as CDM gets off to a positive start for the General Services Administration and the Homeland Security Department. GSA and DHS received 52 responses to a request for information for how best to create a new category on GSA’s IT schedule. A majority of the vendors responding say the special item number is appropriate and will help streamline how cyber tools are sold. A majority also say GSA should add services to the category.
  • Fifteen watchdog organizations are calling on President DonaldTrump to proceed with caution as he begins cutting the Pentagon’s civilian workforce. In a letter, the coalition says the Defense Department is ripe for cuts to its civilian workforce, but those cuts should be done strategically. The organizations warn cutting the wrong positions could cost more money and make more work for the military. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy’s latest plan to significantly expand its fleet comes with a hefty price tag. A new analysis from the Congressional Budget Office says in order to achieve a fleet of 355 ships, the Navy would have to spend $26.6 billion per year over the next 30 years on shipbuilding costs alone. That’s 60 percent more than Congress has been willing to spend over an average of the last 30 years to pay for the current fleet of 275 ships. CBO says the costs to operate and maintain the fleet would also be substantial: $94 billion per year, compared to the $56 billion the Navy spends today.
  • The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board is losing its executive director of 10 years. Greg Long is resigning as the agency’s leader. The agency’s Chief Investment Officer Ravindra Deo will serve as acting director until the board finds a replacement. Long helped implement automatic agency contributions and automatic enrollment for new participants during his tenure. (Federal News Radio)
  • Former Acting Office of Personnel Management Director Beth Cobert has a new job. She’ll be the CEO of Skillful. It’s an initiative run by the Markle foundation, which helps people in Colorado  learn new skills and find decent-paying jobs. She’ll work closely with former Obama Chief of Staff Denis McDonough, who’s also now at Skillful. (The Markle Foundation)
  • Environmental Protection Agency officials shot down an allegation the agency’s open data website would be shut down. The CEO of contractor Three Round Stones had stated funding was no longer available for operation of the agency’s data portal past this week. Bloomberg reports, EPA officials bluntly denied that. A spokesman said the rumors are wrong, and that the site isn’t going anywhere. A popup on the site this morning said data would remain available after April 28. (Opendata.epa.gov)

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