Tuesday marks the first day of the 114th Congress, which mostly serves as a day of ceremony for freshman members. But once the fanfare is over, experts on the Hill say Republicans and Democrats will get right back to settling some old scores left over from 2014.
Today is the opening day of the 114th Congress. It’s got a lot to consider, and a lot to accomplish. But what can federal employees expect from this new Washington? Especially with all the new faces joining the floor later this morning. Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Maryland’s School of Public Policy, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with some analysis and predictions.
After 50 years of stepping on its neck, now the United States is preparing to normalize relations with Cuba. President Barack Obama’s wide-ranging diplomatic bet involves finance, trade, border security and travel. That means it will spark a lot of work for you, your employees and contractors. Don Kettl, a professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, joined Tom Temin on the Federal Drive with more on the implications.
When Congress returns on Dec. 1, it will be pressed for time on deciding its next course on funding before the current continuing resolution expires at midnight on Dec. 12.
Everyone with a stake in the federal budget is looking toward Dec. 11. That’s when the continuing resolution runs out, and Congress will have to decide what to do next. Beyond that, federal agencies are looking at two long years of a Republican Congress and Democratic White House. Will it be the immoveable rock facing the irresistible force? Or can good things still happen? Don Kettl, professor at the University of Maryland School of Public Policy and long-time watcher of all things federal, offered some insight on the Federal Drive with Tom Temin.
The Senate left Washington without confirming several of President Barack Obama’s nominees for the executive branch, including Carolyn Colvin, his choice to lead the Social Security Administration.
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission has filled out its leadership under an unusual political deal. The Senate has confirmed the agency’s Enforcement Chief Norman Bay to chair the commission. But he will have to wait nine months. In the interim, Acting Chairman Cheryl LeFleur will continue to lead the agency. Bay will serve as a board member while learning the ropes. Don Kettl is a professor at the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland. He joined Tom Temin and Emily Kopp on the Federal Drive to explain this unusual case.
Big ideas in government don’t matter any more. Don Kettl, dean of the School of Public Policy at the University of Maryland, told In Depth with Francis Rose your agency should use data to make policy changes from Congress and the White House easier.
On the Federal Drive show blog, you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.
For the first time since the government shutdown ended two weeks ago, House and Senate lawmakers are sitting down at the table to negotiate about the fiscal 2014 budget. At the top of the agenda will be what to do about the automatic budget cuts known as sequestration that have ensnared what remained of the traditional budget process this year. However, budget experts and insiders say sequestration is likely to stick around — at least in some form — and about the best agencies can hope for is a small-bore deal that grants them some greater flexibility in implementing the cuts, these experts said.