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Federal Eye: May 23, 2010 - May 29, 2010

Gates: Actual repeal of 'don't ask' months away

Defense Secretary Robert Gates reminded military service members on Friday that the potential repeal of "don't ask, don't tell" is still months away.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 28, 2010; 4:27 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Military, Workplace Issues  
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House kills Republican effort to cut federal pay

The House on Friday effectively killed Republican efforts to freeze the pay of federal workers next fiscal year, voting 227 to 183 to table a proposal introduced by Rep. Michele Bachmann (R-Minn.).

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 28, 2010; 3:35 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (5)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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'Don't ask' repeal passes... now what?

Don't expect openly gay and lesbian Americans to start rushing today to military recruitment offices just because lawmakers voted Thursday to repeal "don't ask, don't tell." At best, opponents of the military's gay ban hope they can start reenlisting during the first quarter of next year.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 28, 2010; 12:23 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Military  
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Senate panel passes repeal of 'don't ask, don't tell'

The Senate Armed Services Committee voted Thursday to end "don't ask, don't tell," the controversial policy barring openly gay men and lesbians from serving in the military.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 6:58 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Military, Workplace Issues  
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Obama's decision to skip Arlington on Memorial Day angers some veterans

President Obama is skipping the traditional Memorial Day visit to Arlington National Cemetery, a move that has dismayed some veterans -- and comes at a sensitive moment in the administration's relationship with the military.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 5:33 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Administration  
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NOAA predicts up to 14 hurricanes, 7 of them major

Federal weather forecasters Thursday predicted an "active to extremely active" Atlantic hurricane season this year, with as many as 14 hurricanes, seven of them major.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 1:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Do Virginia lawmakers back a federal pay freeze?

House Republicans will try to force a vote Thursday on a proposal to cut the 1.4 percent pay raise for civilian federal workers that President Obama asked for in his budget for 2011. The vote will mark the second time the GOP has brought a measure to the floor that was selected via their YouCut online poll.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 12:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Maryland lawmaker questions GSA leasing

A Maryland lawmaker is questioning how the General Services Administration selects facilities to lease for federal agencies, suggesting the government’s primary landlord has bypassed commercial high-rise office space in Prince George’s County in favor of locations in the District and Northern Virginia.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 8:35 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Congress, Contracting, Workplace Issues  
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Census takers targeted 113 times this month

More than 113 census takers have been the victims of assaults or attacks since April 1, the U.S. Census Bureau said late Wednesday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 27, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (37)
Categories:  Census, Eye Opener  
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Census Bureau adopts stricter hiring rules

The Census Bureau is adopting stricter rules for screening new hires after a registered sex offender using an alias got a job as a census taker, the bureau’s director said Wednesday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2010; 2:10 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Census, Workplace Issues  
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Ben Nelson backs 'don't ask' compromise

Sen. Ben Nelson (D-Neb.) said Wednesday that he will vote to support the compromise legislation that repeals the military's ban on gay service members.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2010; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Congress  
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Obama heckled again over 'don't ask'

Another fundraiser for Sen. Barbara Boxer (D-Calif.) and another audience member heckles President Obama about "don't ask, don't tell."

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2010; 10:38 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (124)
Categories:  44: Obama's Washington, Administration  
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Congress approves money for families of federal agents killed on duty

The families of federal law enforcement officers killed in the line of duty will be able to receive relocation assistance from federal law enforcement agencies thanks to new legislation approved on Tuesday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Audit: Newer federal courthouses are too big

The federal government's landlord is building courthouses that are bigger than necessary, according to a preliminary report by government auditors.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 26, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (9)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Oversight  
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Head of federal building security agency transferred

The director of the beleaguered agency responsible for protecting federal buildings will be transferred in June to a liaison role with the Department of Homeland Security, ending a rocky three-year tenure that exposed serious flaws in federal building security.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 5:46 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Revolving Door  
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Federal pay cuts proposed to offset war costs

Republican senators on Tuesday unveiled two $60 billion proposals that cut government salaries and operational costs to help pay for the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq and earthquake relief for Haiti.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 3:47 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Congress  
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Military families take issue with benefits amid health-care bill

By the time Congress passed the national health-care overhaul, anxiety about it was so widespread that Defense Secretary Robert M. Gates issued a statement reassuring America's military families. The legislation, Gates said, "will not negatively impact the TRICARE medical insurance program" for members of the armed forces.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Health Care, Military  
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Chat With The Eye: 'don't ask, don't tell'; BP oil spill; Sheetz and BBQ Fritos

Highlights of Tuesday's Post Politics Hour, which focused primarily on President Obama's endorsement of a "don't ask, don't tell" repeal and other political issues:

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 12:11 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  About the Blog  
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Gates tepidly backs 'don't ask' compromise

Defense Secretary Robert Gates issued tepid support for the "don't ask, don't tell" compromise on Tuesday -- a critical gesture regardless of its less-than enthusiastic nature.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 11:15 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (7)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Navy plebes scale Herndon Monument in record time

As they have for 70 years, Navy freshmen -- known as plebes -- celebrated the end of their grueling first year at the U.S. Naval Academy by scaling a 21-foot obelisk. They did it a lot faster than usual this year without 200 pounds of lard coating the monument.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Video Report, Workplace Issues  
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Republicans propose cutting federal pay raises

Would freezing federal worker salaries help cut government costs? House Republicans think so, and are floating the idea as one of several potential government spending cuts.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 25, 2010; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (43)
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener  
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Obama's letters supporting 'don't ask, don't tell' repeal

A proforma series of letters between lawmakers and the White House exchanged hands late Monday, culminating in Office of Management and Budget Director Peter R. Orszag formally expressing the Obama administration's support for the repeal.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 9:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Administration, Workplace Issues  
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Senate passes telework bill

The Senate passed legislation Monday that would make it easier for federal workers to work from home.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 8:55 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Congress, Workplace Issues  
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Survey: MMS a bad place to work

Today's news that top officials at the Minerals Management Service ignored warnings from agency scientists is consistent with findings in last year's survey of the best places to work in the federal government.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 4:12 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (8)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Workplace Issues  
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Big federal job fair set for July 14

You'll have an excellent opportunity to meet with representatives from dozens of federal agencies at the Public Service Career and Internship Fair on July 14 from 3 p.m. to 7 p.m. at the National Building Museum. The fair is sponsored by the Partnership for Public Service.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 3:30 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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White House endorses 'don't ask, don't tell' compromise

White House officials, Democratic congressional leaders and gay rights groups met on Monday to discuss a possible repeal of the military's "don't ask, don't tell" policy. Such a reversal would take effect after the Pentagon completes a study on how to integrate openly gay service members, according to multiple officials.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 2:08 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (87)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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Ex-military officials' performance in administration questioned

President Obama's firing of retired Adm. Dennis C. Blair as national intelligence chief highlights a pattern of problems involving senior administration officials who once served in the upper ranks of the military.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 12:52 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Administration  
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Sources: Agency overseeing oil drilling ignored warnings on risks

The federal agency responsible for regulating offshore oil drilling repeatedly ignored warnings from government scientists about environmental risks in its push to approve energy exploration activities quickly, according to numerous documents and interviews.

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 12:41 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Gulf Coast oil spill: Day 34 update

It's been 34 days since the Deepwater Horizon oil rig exploded and sank in the waters of the Gulf of Mexico. The Obama administration and national press corps are refocusing their attention on the federal response this week with a series of visits, statements and actions. Here are highlights from this past weekend and the week ahead:

By Ed O'Keefe  | May 24, 2010; 7:10 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (4)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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