Congressman brushes off idea of feds living paycheck to paycheck

In today's Federal Newscast, while some members of Congress are trying to make sure federal employees can get paid during a potential shutdown, don't expect eve...

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  • The House passes its own version of a continuing resolution to keep all of government open through Feb. 8. However, it provides $5 billion in funding for a wall on the southern border. The CR now goes to the Senate, where Democrats say it has no chance of passing, which means more uncertainty over a partial government shutdown. The deadline is at 12:01 a.m. EST Saturday. (Federal News Network)
  • Virginia Reps. Don Beyer (D) and Rob Wittman (R) introduced legislation to guarantee furloughed federal employees back pay during a potential, partial government shutdown. The Federal Employee Retroactive Pay Fairness Act had 66 bipartisan cosponsors. Congress must pass this bill, or include it in whatever funding vehicle lawmakers can agree to, to ensure federal employees get paid for the time spent working, or furloughed during a partial shutdown. (Rep. Don Beyer)
  • With many federal employees concerned about how they will get by during a government shutdown, don’t count on every member of Congress feeling sorry for them. When asked by POLITICO reporter Sarah Ferris about federal employees living paycheck to paycheck, Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.) asked “Who’s living that they’re not going to make it to the next paycheck?” He followed this up by saying that private sector employees deal with similar situations all the time. “The government’s not immune to these things…” (Twitter)
  • Ten House lawmakers introduced a bill to stop the Agriculture Department from moving two of its bureaus outside the Washington, D.C. metro area. Rep. Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) and Rep. Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) are the authors of the Agriculture Research Integrity Act. It would amend the 1994 USDA reorganization act to prohibit the secretary from moving the Economic Research Service and the National Institute of Food and Agriculture to other parts of the country. USDA Secretary Sonny Perdue is reviewing proposals to move both. (Rep. Chellie Pingree)
  • The number of military service members who get cost of living adjustments will drop significantly after the new year. The Pentagon bases the COLA rates on annual cost of living surveys in various markets around the country. Based on the latest data, it’s changing the number of areas eligible for COLA from 59 in 2018 to just 20 in 2019. The number of service members eligible will drop from about 28,000 to 15,000. The highest payments will go to the relatively small number of troops stationed to New York City and the San Francisco Bay Area. (Federal News Network)
  • Two hackers related to the Chinese government were indicted for their role in a multi-year effort to steal information from one hundred thousand Navy personnel. The Justice Department said the hackers also stole information from technology companies, the Energy Department and NASA. DoJ charged the hackers with conspiracy to commit computer intrusions, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. (Department of Justice)
  • NIST updated a document to bring all pieces of cybersecurity together. Version 2 of the Risk Management Framework added seven new focus areas to help agencies better secure the lifecycle of an IT system. The National Institute of Standards and Technology released revision 2 of special publication 800-37 Thursday. Among the most significant additions are the integration of privacy risk management processes and supply chain management concepts to the framework. NIST also added a new step to the RMF called “Prepare,” to promote broad communication across the organization and to identify and prioritize high value assets. (National Institute of Standards and Technology)
  • The Office of Management and Budget lacks baseline data on how agencies are securing their buildings through “physical access control systems”, or PACS. The Government Accountability Office found cost, procurement and legacy hardware posed challenges for five agencies to implement PACS. It recommended OMB monitor agency implementation on PACS. OMB had no comment on the report’s recommendations. (Government Accountability Office)
  • President Donald Trump signed the 21st-Century Integrated Digital Experience Act, which aims to make federal dot-gov websites more mobile-friendly and secure. It also seeks to close the tech gap between government and the private sector by promoting greater availability of digital forms, the use of e-signatures, and a better experience for people with disabilities. (Federal News Network)
  • is the first Defense Department application to be hosted on milCloud 2.0. The application lets users of open source and community source software collaborate more easily. is one of 53 applications the Defense Information Systems Agency plans on migrating to the updated cloud service. (Defense Information Systems Agency)
  • The Veterans Affairs Acquisition Academy is expanding its Warriors to Workforce program to help fill Department of Veterans Affairs vacancies. VA is accepting resumes through June for its September class. The goal is to hire 60 people to the program next year while it has 42 interns now. The Warriors to Workforce Program will hire participants as GS-5 employees. They’ll learn business education, peak performance training, and professional development skills. The program has graduated 150 wounded warriors. (Department of Veterans Affairs)
  • One small agency took a moment at year-end to point out how success begets a bigger workload. Chief Henry Kerner said the Office of Special Counsel took in 6,000 new matters in calendar 2018, and also resolved as many. He said that’s 61 percent higher than in the prior few years. Some 300 cases resulted in corrective action for whistleblowers, or sanctions against managers who retaliated. Three Transportation Security Administration employees shared $1 million in compensation. (Office of Special Counsel)

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