Military academy grads looking to turn pro will have to serve first

  • Military academy graduates who want to pursue careers in professional sports will have to fulfill they service commitments first. The Defense Department rescinded its policy that allowed some athletic grads to be placed on reserve status in order to play for pro sports teams. The change will take effect starting with the current graduating class. (Department of Defense)
  • Congress may have been able to avoid a government shutdown this time around, but a fight may be on the horizon for next time. President Donald Trump tweeted his explanation for the recent budget deal being that Republicans don’t have enough seats in the Senate. He also said the country is in need of a “good shutdown in September” when the spending plan expires. (Federal News Radio)
  • With the new budget agreement the Navy is getting some of the money it needs to hire at least 2,000 new shipyard workers. In an exclusive interview with Federal News Radio, Naval Sea Systems Command Chief Vice Admiral Thomas Moore said the Navy will need more funds in 2018 to get the employees it still needs. (Federal News Radio)
  • Another of President Donald Trump’s Defense nominees may be running into political trouble. CNN, citing sources, reported late yesterday that Army secretary nominee Mark Green’s nomination could be withdrawn as soon as this week, though one of Green’s political advisers quickly denied the report. Green has come under scrutiny in recent days for comments that seemed to deny evolution, and LGBT groups have mounted their own opposition campaign because of comments the Tennessee state senator has made saying being transgender is a “disease.” (CNN)
  • The White House got a nominee confirmed for an important regulatory position. The Senate confirmed Jay Clayton as chairman of the Securities and Exchange Commission. The vote was 61 to 37, meaning some Democrats voted in favor. After the vote, Clayton said he looks forward to working with the SEC’s career staff. His charge from the Trump administration is to roll back some of the regulation on publicly-traded companies. The former Wall Street lawyer will be sworn in tomorrow. (Associated Press)
  • Members of Congress said they have a new solution to improve the outdated and lengthy veterans appeals process. The Veterans Affairs Department has 470,000 pending appeals as of April 1. Members of both the House and Senate VA committees introduced the VA Appeals Improvement and Modernization Act. It would let veterans choose from three options to pursue their appeals. (Federal News Radio)
  • Four bipartisan measures to strengthen whistleblower protections passed the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. Among the bills, one would let whistleblowers disclose classified information to any supervisor “in the employee’s direct chain of command up to and including the head of the employing agency.” Another closes legal loopholes to let the Office of Special Counsel obtain all relevant information from agencies under its jurisdiction. (House Oversight and Government Reform Committee)
  • The bill to move agencies off of legacy IT systems is one step further in the process. The bill to modernize federal technology systems made it through the second hoop to becoming law. The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee easily approved the Modernizing Government Technology or MGT Act yesterday. Rep. Will Hurd (R-Texas) introduced an updated version of the bill April 28. The legislation now moves to the full House for consideration. Sens. Jerry Moran (R-Kan.) and Tom Udall (D-N.M.) introduced a companion bill on Friday. There is no time frame for the Senate to markup their version of the legislation. (Federal News Radio)
  • The State Department is rolling out online passport renewals as early as next year. Carl Siegmund with State’s Passport Services office, said the online renewals would have a limited roll out in mid-2018. The office also wants to introduce push notifications for these renewals to keep applicants informed and help reduce the burden on customer service phone lines.

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