Senate bill guarantees quick pay for feds furloughed during possible shutdown

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

  • Seventeen senators introduced a bill to ensure federal employees get paid, even if Congress can’t agree how to fund the government past April 28. That’s when the current continuing resolution expires. The bill would make sure employees who are forced to take furloughs during a government shutdown, get paid quickly when the government reopens. Congress starts a two-week recess today. (National Treasury Employees Union)
  • President Donald Trump started to fill out his team at the Office of Management and Budget. The President nominated Neomi Rao, an associate professor at George Mason University, to be the administrator of the Office of Information and Regulatory Affairs. He also tapped VP of a conservative think tank Russell Vought to be deputy director of OMB. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Donald Trump nominated his pick for secretary of the Army. Mark Green is a recently retired Army physician who served three combat tours in the Middle East — a military record that differentiates him from the president’s previous pick, a financier who decided to withdraw his nomination because of business complications. Green has only been a Tennessee state senator since 2012, but his short political career has already stirred controversy. LGBT activists are already opposing his nomination because of bills he’s backed that they view as discriminatory. (Federal News Radio)
  • A personnel change occurred in President Donald Trump’s White House team. Deputy National Security adviser Kathleen McFarland will step away. Bloomberg reports, she’s been offered the ambassadorship to Singapore. McFarland’s departure is part of a shake-up of the NSC imposed by H.R. McMaster, Trump’s second National Security adviser. White House chief strategist Steve Bannon is gone from the NSC principals committee. The chairman of the joint chiefs of staff and the director of national intelligence are back on.
  • Republican lawmakers renewed their call for Internal Revenue Service Commissioner John Koskinen’s removal. More than 50 members of Congress sent letters to President Donald Trump, citing destruction of evidence and misleading a congressional investigation as grounds for dismissal. Koskinen took on his role in 2013 following the targeting controversy. (House Ways and Means Committee)
  • The Homeland Security Department is slowly improving its acquisition oversight. DHS requires all major acquisition programs to show documentation and life cycle cost estimates, something Acting Undersecretary for Management Chip Fulghum said is a big step for DHS. But the Government Accountability Office said DHS needs to focus on the details and make sure those steps are happening every single time. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Commerce Department has a three-year plan to modernize its administrative services. The Commerce Department wants to become the first agency to move all back-office operations to a shared service provider. The department already moved its human resources operations to the Treasury’s shared service offering. It now is creating shared tools for technology, including case management and automated workflow services. Commerce also wants to expand its cybersecurity shared services to go along with the existing enterprise security operations center. Agency executives said the move to shared services is necessary because the department had neglected many of its back-office functions over the last 20 years. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Air Force doesn’t expect to come up with immediate solutions during its meeting with airlines next month on the pilot shortage. Air Force Chief of Staff General David Goldfein said the meeting is the beginning of a dialogue on how the military and companies can both keep talented pilots. The meeting is slated for May 18. (Federal News Radio)
  • Twitter withdrew its lawsuit against the federal government. It had originally filed it after the Homeland Security Department requested the social media site produce records of accounts supposedly run  by federal employees who opposed the President’s policies. However, Twitter said DHS withdrew its summons so it dropped the suit. The ALT USCIS account thanked the company for standing up for free speech. (Associated Press)

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