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Federal Eye: January 24, 2010 - January 30, 2010

White House calls for $20B in budget cuts

The Obama administration on Monday will propose cutting 120 federal programs costing about $20 billion when it releases its fiscal 2011 budget, the White House said Saturday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 30, 2010; 7:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (22)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments, Budget  
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Arne Duncan: Hurricane Katrina benefited New Orleans' education system

Education Secretary Arne Duncan called Hurricane Katrina "the best thing that happened to the education system in New Orleans" because it forced the community to take steps to improve low-performing public schools, according to excerpts from the transcript of a television interview made public Friday afternoon.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 4:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration  
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Federal Eye Fans: We need your help!

We're looking to start a series of profiles of rank-and-file folks -- especially those who plan to retire after at least 30 years of federal service. We want to hear their stories and accomplishments and soak up as much of...

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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New reports from stimulus-funds recipients out Saturday

The federal government on Saturday will post about 160,000 quarterly spending reports from recipients of economic stimulus dollars and officials responsible for the information said new safeguards should help avoid mistakes exposed in last fall's first batch of information.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 1:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Tracking the Stimulus  
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Postal Service: 162 sites may still close

The Postal Service said Friday that 162 sites remain under consideration for possible closure and consolidation.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 11:34 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (17)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Obama announces government greenhouse gas emissions targets

By The Post's Juliet Eilperin and Anne E. Kornblut: President Obama set greenhouse gas emissions targets for the federal government, announcing Friday that it would aim to reduce its emissions by 28 percent in 2020. "As the largest energy consumer...

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 11:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Friday Feedback: a photo ban, pay freezes, energy bills and 'don't ask, don't tell'

Reader responses to some the week's most popular items. The thoughts posted here are the opinions of the Federal Eye fans who made them and theirs alone. Leave your thoughts in the comments section below: Regarding President Obama's decision to...

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Eye Opener: Funding NASA's future

President Obama's budget set for release on Monday would add $6 billion over the next five years to NASA's budget, giving it a total $100 billion over the next five years. Though some of the money would help extend the life of the International Space Station into 2020, most of the funds would bankroll the private construction of spaceships that can ferry astronauts into space, the White House said Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 29, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Eye Opener  
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Obama reiterates support for domestic benefits bill

President Obama reiterated his support for legislation moving through the House and Senate that extends full domestic benefits to the unmarried partners of gay and lesbian federal employees.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 5:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, Workplace Issues  
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Gates, Mullen to testify on 'don't ask'

The Senate Armed Services Committee will quiz Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates and the chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, Adm. Mike Mullen, Tuesday about repealing the military’s “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy at a previously scheduled budget hearing.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 4:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (33)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Dozens of House Web sites hacked

Forty-nine Web sites operated by members of the House of Representatives or House committees were hacked overnight with a personal attack against President Obama. Officials anticipate the sites will be fully operational by the end of Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 2:06 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Congress  
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Obama's food safety pick surprises consumer advocates

Highlights of The Post's food safety reporter Lyndsey Layton's report on Obama's nomination of Elisabeth Hagen to serve as the government's top food safety official: The Obama administration has had a difficult time filling the post of chief food safety...

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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Eye Opener: Gay groups mobilize for 'don't ask' repeal

Gay rights groups on Wednesday plan to launch a nationwide campaign to repeal the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy following President Obama's call for a repeal during Wednesday's State of the Union address.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 28, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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HUD's Shaun Donovan was Cabinet's 'designated survivor'

Housing and Urban Development Secretary Shaun Donovan served as the Cabinet's "designated survivor," White House officials said Wednesday night. HUD Secretary Shaun Donovan Donovan stayed away from the U.S. Capitol during President Obama's State of the Union address, prepared to...

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 8:48 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, Administration  
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Obama will ask for end to 'Don't Ask, Don't Tell'

President Obama will call for a repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy during Wednesday night's State of the Union address, White House officials said Wednesday afternoon.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 7:02 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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FCC chairman recalls relatives killed at Auschwitz

Federal Communications Commission Chairman Julius Genachowski marked the 65th anniversary of the liberation of Poland's Auschwitz-Birkenau concentration camp by recalling the death of his great grandmother at the site.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 5:04 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Alaskans go first as 2010 Census starts

Watch a video essay by the Associated Press of the first enumeration of Americans for the 2010 Census.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 3:24 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Census  
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Critics pan release of government information

Transparency advocates and good government groups rendered a mixed verdict this week on the Obama administration’s recent release of hundreds of sets of government data, arguing that many federal agencies chose to release obscure or outdated facts and figures at the expense of long-standing requests for more relevant, sensitive information.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 2:13 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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The size and scope of Obama's budget

Some facts and figures about the size and scope of President Obama's proposed FY '11 budget, as provided by the Government Printing Office

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 9:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Estimate: 66,000 gays in the military

An estimated 66,000 gay and bisexual people are serving in the U.S. military, roughly 2 percent of all military personnel, according to a study released Tuesday by a gay rights policy center. The figures suggest a slight increase in the number of enlisted gay men and lesbians in the military and provide opponents of the military’s “don't ask, don’t tell” policy with new figures as they lobby the Obama administration for its repeal.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (18)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Workplace Issues  
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Obama to freeze pay of top government officials

President Obama will freeze the salaries of senior White House officials and other top political appointees and eliminate bonuses for all political appointees, the White House said Tuesday. The payroll decision will likely get a mention in Wednesday's State of the Union address, officials said.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 5:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (46)
Categories:  Administration  
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Lawsuits up despite White House transparency pledge

More than 300 people and groups have sued the Obama administration fighting to get federal government records in the year since President Obama pledged his administration would be the most open in history.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 2:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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Clinton to be second Cabinet member skipping SOTU

Secretary of State Hillary Clinton got a pass last week from President Obama to skip Wednesday night's State of the Union speech. (We had heard she begged to be excused, but apparently it didn't come to that.)

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 2:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration  
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IRS requests audit road map from corporations

The Internal Revenue Service is asking something new of corporations: Make it easier for us to audit you.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 1:07 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Obama to answer questions on YouTube

Do you ever find yourself yelling at the television during a State of the Union address? Now there's a slight chance you can vent your frustrations directly to President Obama and get a response through YouTube.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 11:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration  
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Eye Opener: Cutting the government's energy bill

What would you do to cut the federal government's energy bill? Lawmakers hope to get a few answers on Wednesday at a Senate hearing designed to assess President Obama's executive order that mandated energy conservation targets for federal agencies.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (19)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Obama names food safety, DEA picks

President Obama has tapped two career federal employees to oversee food safety and the Drug Enforcement Agency, the White House announced Monday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 8:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Is tracking stimulus jobs going to get easier?

The head of the federal agency tracking economic stimulus dollars says his job should get easier now that the Obama administration has dropped plans to track the number of jobs "created or saved" by the program.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 2:42 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Oversight, Tracking the Stimulus  
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Cutting the costs of postage stamps

The Postal Service printed $37 billion worth of stamps in fiscal 2008 at a cost of $78 million and eventually destroyed $2.8 billion worth of them. As the mail volume and profits continue their sharp decline, the mail agency's watchdog is seeking ideas on how to cheaply and more efficiently produce the thumbnail-sized images.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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National Archives bans photos by tourists

So you want to take a photo of the original copies of the Declaration of Independence or U.S. Constitution the next time you visit the National Archives? Nope, sorry, head to the gift store.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (30)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Eye Opener: Union rate among feds holds steady

The percentage of union members in the federal workforce essentially stayed flat in 2009 compared to the previous year, while the actual number of union members on the federal payroll grew slightly, according to new figures released by the Bureau of Labor Statistics.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 25, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Obama plays basketball at Interior Department

President Obama took his daughters Malia and Sasha and a few aides along for a Sunday morning game of basketball at the Interior Department's indoor court, according to a White House pool report.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 24, 2010; 11:05 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (16)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Ex-Commerce secretary Robert A. Mosbacher dies

Robert A. Mosbacher, a Texas oil mogul who served as a chief fundraiser for five Republican presidential campaigns and who as Commerce Secretary under President George H.W. Bush successfully promoted the North American Free Trade Agreement, died today of pancreatic cancer at The University of Texas M.D. Anderson Cancer Center in Houston. He was 82.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 24, 2010; 10:55 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Miscellaneous  
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