Bills and laws for federal workers advance
Who says Congress doesn't do anything? If you weren't checking the blog throughout the day on Thursday (and why not?!) you may have missed the news that lawmakers this week approved several pieces of legislation related to government operations and the federal workforce (thanks to colleague Joe Davidson for spotting most of these):
1.) A a long-awaited bill to reform the federal agency responsible for protecting more than 9,000 federal sites and millions of federal workers earned the approval of a Senate committee. It'll have to reconcile itself with a similar House bill.
2.) The House and Senate approved legislation that strongly encourages -- but does not legally require -- major-party presidential nominees and incumbent presidents to start planning for the presidential transition before Election Day. The bill heads to the White House for the signature of President Obama, (who might have to transition out of the White House in two years).
3.) Teleworking options for federal workers are one step closer to reality as the Senate passed a bill requiring agencies to develop policies allowing most employees to work remotely. The bill goes back to the House, which passed a similar version in July.
4.) Federal agencies have to hire "plain writing" officials (no, really) as the House and Senate passed a law requiring that the government publish official documents in plain English. Supporters figure that writing in plainspoken speak should help Americans better understand their government. (No, it will take MUCH more than that.)
Is there anything we missed? (Lawmakers took a pass on most of First Lady Michelle Obama's legislative priorities, for example.) What other issues has Congress neglected?
Leave your thoughts in the comments section below
• Cabinet and Staff News: In case you've been under a rock, Rahm Emanuel is leaving -- so read verything you ever need/wanted to know about President Obama's new (interim? permanent?) chief of staff, Pete Rouse. Former president Jimmy Carter released from the hospital.
• Four suicides in a week take a toll on Fort Hood: So far this year, Army officials have confirmed that 14 soldiers at Fort Hood have committed suicide.
• Mixed corporate reactions to next moves on net neutrality: The biggest debate revolves around the Federal Communications Commission's proposal to assert its authority over broadband services in order to carry out a net neutrality rule.
• Oops! FDA error is talk of Henhouse: Industry executives and state officials said an agency official broke a basic biosecurity rule: keep vehicles as far from the hens as possible.
• As offshore drilling moratorium nears an end, questions about what's next: Interior Secretary Ken Salazar is getting ready to take his finger off what he has called the "pause" button on deepwater oil drilling.
• Supreme Court will weigh in on NASA contractor dispute: The high court will hear arguments from contractors who claim the government has violated their privacy with intrusive background checks.
U.S. POSTAL SERVICE:
• Postal rate hike request denied: Regulators said that the mail agency's recent financial woes were caused by a flawed business model and not the recent recession.
| October 1, 2010; 6:00 AM ET
Categories: Congress, Eye Opener, Workplace Issues
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