House lawmakers urge POTUS to require large vendors to disclose PAC spending after a federal contract is awarded

In today's Federal Newscast: House Progressives want large government contractors to quickly disclose their PAC donations. A new FBI building just got a half bi...

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  • House lawmakers are urging President Joe Biden to require large vendors to disclose political spending after they’ve been awarded a federal contract. Rep. Andy Levin (Mich.) and Rep. Jason Crow (D-Colo.) led an effort of 63 lawmakers in writing to the president, asking that he sign an executive order to increase the transparency needed to better understand how political donations may unduly influence elected officials. The members of the Congressional Progressive Caucus said this information would go a long way to combatting both the perception, and in some cases the reality, of corruption due to large donations. The lawmakers said in 2020, the 10 largest federal contractors received nearly $214 billion in contracts. The Political Action Committees of those same companies spent nearly $25 million in the 2020 election cycle.
  • The Postal Service may need to cut its employee headcount to improve its long-term financial health. Postmaster General DeJoy said USPS may need to cut 50,000 positions under a 10-year plan to break even after 15 years of consecutive net losses.  “But that’s OK, because over the next two years, 200,000 people leave the organization for retirement,” DeJoy said. DeJoy, speaking at the American Enterprise Institute, said he plans to consolidate 500 facilities that USPS processes and moves mail through down to about 65 to 75 regional hubs. (Federal News Network)
  • Funding for a new FBI headquarters is coming into focus. The Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government set aside $500 million for a new headquarters in its draft spending bill for fiscal 2023. The House already approved $500 million for the FBI headquarters in its package of fiscal 2023 spending bills. The draft Senate bill also includes a House-passed measure to prevent any administration from firing civil service employees based on policy disagreements.
  • The IRS will get another shot at long-term investment in its enforcement and taxpayer services. The budget reconciliation package from Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) and Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) would give the IRS $80 billion over the next 10 years, with a focus on tax enforcement. The Congressional Budget Office expects this additional money will allow the IRS to more than double its workforce. (Federal News Network)
  • Controversy comes to the latest grades on how agencies are managing their technology. Eight agencies saw their grades drop on the 14th version of the Federal IT Acquisition Reform Act or FITARA scorecard due to their cybersecurity scores. But chief information officers from the General Services Administration, Defense Department and Environmental Protection Agency, who testified yesterday, as well as the Office of Management and Budget, pushed back against the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations decision to rely solely on FISMA reports from the agencies’ inspectors general. The subcommittee said it was using the data that was available. But OMB said that data is based on an outdated, compliance-oriented approach and no longer reflects the progress agencies have made. (Federal News Network)
  • The Navy said it will need a 3% to 5% budget increase per year to build its planned fleet for 2045. The prediction is part of the Chief of Naval Operation’s 2022 Navigation Plan. The fleet of the future will encompass 500 vessels that are connected. Some of those vessels will be unmanned drones. The plan also calls for 12 aircraft carriers, 96 large surface ships and 18 light amphibious warships.
  • The Defense Information Systems Agency is tacking another six months onto its contract to build a new zero trust architecture for DoD. DISA calls the project “Thunderdome.” The agency awarded an other transaction agreement to Booz Allen Hamilton to start prototyping the idea in January. DISA said it now needs more time to build out the Thunderdome concept. A big part of the additional work will involve extending the zero trust architecture to DoD’s classified networks.
  • The Space Force has picked a candidate to take over its top position. Lt. Gen. B. Chance Saltzman is nominated to be the next chief of space operations at the Space Force. If confirmed, Saltzman will be the second person to hold the highest rank in the new military branch. Saltzman will take over for Gen. Jay Raymond, who is set to retire next year. Saltzman has been serving in the military since 1991. He most recently held the position of deputy chief of space operations for operations, cyber and nuclear. His nomination will need to be reviewed and voted on by the Senate.
  • Federal employees are one step closer to securing a 4.6% pay raise in 2023, after Senate Democrats remained silent on President Biden’s proposal in a draft appropriations bill. With no mention of a pay raise for career federal workers, Democratic appropriators in the Senate effectively endorsed the White House’s proposal of a 4.6% across-the-board raise. Notably, the Senate’s draft spending bill would also remove a pay freeze for the vice president and other senior political officials. The pay freeze for those political appointees has remained in place since at least 2014. (Federal News Network)
  • Former U.S. intelligence officials are trying to elevate the profile of open source intelligence. The OSINT Foundation aims to professionalize the open source workforce across the intelligence community. OSINT has traditionally taken a backseat to classified sources and methods, like spy satellites and covert agents. But with social media and other Internet sources providing a wealth of information about global developments, like the war in Ukraine, lawmakers and other advocates said spy agencies need to improve their OSINT capabilities. The new foundation plans to develop standards and certification and ultimately increase funding for OSINT.  (Federal News Network)
  • An effective equal employment opportunity program often comes down to having a direct reporting structure. The Equal Employment Opportunity Commission said federal offices where the agency head directly supervises the EEO leader have more successful EEO programs. More agencies are making progress toward a direct management structure, the commission said, with small agencies being the most successful. But larger agencies have more mixed results. EEOC reported that 92% of feds at agencies with a direct reporting structure said it positively impacted the EEO program.
  • Senate Democrats are refusing to increase funding for the Department of Homeland Security’s next-generation biometrics program. The appropriation committee’s 2023 DHS spending bill instead is seeking more transparency around the Homeland Security Advanced Recognition Technology system. The committee wants DHS to provide more information about the types of technologies and information it will use as part of the biometric system, especially when it comes to immigration enforcement measures.
  • The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services brought back less money than initially thought as it collected on overpayments. A new report from the Department of Health and Human Services’ Office of the Inspector General found CMS overstated its total collections by $152 million. The IG said CMS brought back $120 million and not the $272 million they originally said. Between October 2014 and December 2016, CMS agreed to collect $498 million in Medicare overpayments. The IG recommended CMS continue its efforts to recover any portion of the $226 million in uncollected payments. The agency also should determine how much of the collected money was recorded in the accounting system.
  • The Army’s new Office of Special Trial Council will take over independent prosecution of 11 specific crimes starting on December 28, 2023. Those crimes include, among others, murder, rape and sexual assault. On July 14, Army Secretary Christine Wormuth established the council, which will report directly to her. The council is still in its initial operating phase and has not reached full operational status. (Federal News Network)


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    Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., speaks about the resolution he introduced on the rights of congressional workers to unionize during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

    House lawmakers urge POTUS to require large vendors to disclose PAC spending after a federal contract is awarded

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    Rep. Andy Levin, D-Mich., speaks about the resolution he introduced on the rights of congressional workers to unionize during a news conference at the Capitol in Washington, Wednesday, Feb. 9, 2022. (AP Photo/Mariam Zuhaib)

    House lawmakers urge POTUS to require large vendors to disclose PAC spending after a federal contract is awarded

    Read more