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Federal Eye: January 16, 2011 - January 22, 2011

TSA union vote tentatively set for March/April

Transportation Security officers will have to wait a little longer to find out when they will vote on which union to represent them, though a tentative date has been set.

By Joe Davidson  | January 21, 2011; 5:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, unions  
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Teresa Chambers officially back on the Park Police job Jan. 31

Ousted U.S. Park Police Chief Teresa C. Chambers will officially resume her duties on Jan. 31, the Interior Department said Friday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2011; 1:05 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (3)
Categories:  Administration, Revolving Door  
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Hawk in Library of Congress

What appears to be a Cooper's Hawk has taken shelter inside the Main Reading Room of the Library of Congress.

By Elizabeth Flock  | January 21, 2011; 1:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Smithsonian's hidden car cache (Video)

Come inside a secret Smithsonian storage warehouse - you might call it America's National Garage - as two rare vehicles are prepared for display at the National Museum of American History. Featured are a 1948 Tucker and a 1929 Miller race car.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Video Report  
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New GOP proposal targets federal workforce

A series of measures proposed Thursday by House conservatives to shrink the federal deficit included several that would fall heavily on the federal workforce.

By Lisa Rein  | January 21, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Budget, Congress, Workplace Issues  
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In another nod to gays, feds tackling housing bias

In yet another example of the Obama administration extending greater rights to gays and lesbians, the Department of Housing and Urban Development is making changes to ensure they don't face discrimination when applying for federal housing assistance.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 21, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (20)
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener  
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Democrats name new House oversight leadership

The same batch of House Democrats who kept tabs on federal and postal workers and government operations in the old Congress will do again, they announced Thursday.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 20, 2011; 2:37 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Oversight  
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Report: 'Don't ask, don't tell' cost military $193.3M over five years

The military spent about $193.3 million between 2004 and 2009 to replace approximately 3,660 troops discharged under the policy known as "don't ask, don't tell," according to a new audit released days before the Pentagon is expected to detail how it plans to end its ban on gays and lesbians serving openly in uniform.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 20, 2011; 2:25 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (32)
Categories:  Military, Oversight  
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National Zoo to keep giant pandas for 5 more years (Video)

The National Zoo, operated by the Interior Department, has reached a new agreement with China that extends the stay of its two giant pandas for five more years, with high hopes that the pandas might produce just one more giant panda cub.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 20, 2011; 2:15 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments, Video Report  
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NOAA-NWS begins Winter Weather Experiment

Despite major advances in scientific understanding and the development of computer-based weather models, there remains much room for improvement. Anyone who has followed this season's winter storm predictions has, no doubt, observed this. While there never will be perfect forecasts due to chaos (i.e. the butterfly effect), there is considerable opportunity for more accurate predictions and better estimates of associated levels of confidence in hazardous winter weather systems.

By Steve Tracton  | January 20, 2011; 12:00 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Supreme Court rules federal contract workers must submit to background checks

It is reasonable and proper for the federal government to perform background checks of those who work under government contracts, a unanimous Supreme Court ruled Wednesday.

By Robert Barnes  | January 20, 2011; 10:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Contracting, Supreme Court, Workplace Issues  
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Planning ahead to Inauguration Day 2013

Remember Inauguration Day 2009? It was two years ago today that temperatures plummeted, millions of visitors swarmed the streets of Washington and Barack Obama became the nation's 44th president.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 20, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Eye Opener  
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Obama administration scores sweet foreign swag

President and Michelle Obama, Vice President Biden, Secretary of State Hillary Rodham Clinton and dozens of other administration officials, military leaders and lawmakers received hundreds of gifts totaling hundreds of thousands of dollars in 2009, according to a 52-page inventory released Tuesday by the State Department.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 19, 2011; 3:40 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (6)
Categories:  Administration  
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Army sees suicide decline overall, increase among Guard and Reserve soldiers

Suicides among soldiers serving on active duty decreased modestly in 2010 for the first time in years, even as the Army National Guard and Reserve saw a major increase in the number of soldiers taking their own lives.

By Greg Jaffe  | January 19, 2011; 2:20 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Military  
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Lasers an increasing hazard for pilots, FAA says

The number of reported incidents where lasers have been pointed at airplanes almost doubled from 2009 to 2010, according to a statement Wednesday from the Federal Aviation Administration.

By Washington Post Editors  | January 19, 2011; 1:44 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Agencies and Departments  
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Hospital visitation rights for same-sex partners now required by federal rules

Nearly all hospitals this week are extending visitation rights to the partners of gay men and lesbians for the first time, officially enacting a key piece of the Obama administration's efforts to expand the rights of gay Americans.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 19, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (21)
Categories:  Administration  
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Calling the IRS? Expect to wait 10 minutes

Do you have 10 minutes to spare? You may need them if you call the Internal Revenue Service.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 19, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Eye Opener, Oversight  
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Obama orders federal agencies to review regulations

President Obama on Tuesday ordered every federal agency to conduct a systematic review of existing regulations, a concerted effort to banish red tape at a time when the administration is eager to promote economic growth and to repair its fractured relations with the business community.

By Lori Montgomery  | January 18, 2011; 1:28 PM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (2)
Categories:  Administration, Agencies and Departments  
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Postmaster general defends the 'Forever Stamp'

The nation's top mailman says he'd like to meet with former House Speaker Newt Gingrich to explain the U.S. Postal Service's use of Forever Stamps.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 18, 2011; 10:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (52)
Categories:  Postal Service  
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Federal retirees shouldn't be getting workers' comp, senator says

To ensure that people too old to work aren't cheating the system, Sen. Susan M. Collins (R-Maine) wants the Government Accountability Office to study the program that provides income to injured federal workers.

By Joe Davidson  | January 18, 2011; 9:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, From The Pages of The Post, Workplace Issues  
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Freshman Rep. Gowdy to chair D.C., Census, oversight panel

House Oversight and Government Reform Chairman Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) will announce Tuesday that Rep. Trey Gowdy (R-S.C.) will helm the subcommittee that handles District matters, giving the job to a freshman lawmaker with no record of speaking out on D.C. issues.

By Ben Pershing  | January 18, 2011; 9:30 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (0)
Categories:  Congress, Health Care, Oversight  
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Two GOP freshmen to handle federal worker issues

House Republicans are tapping two freshmen to lead congressional oversight of the federal workforce and U.S. Postal Service.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 18, 2011; 5:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (40)
Categories:  Congress, Eye Opener, Oversight, Postal Service  
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2-hour delay, unscheduled leave for federal workers Tuesday

Federal employees in the Washington may report for work two hours later than they would normally arrive Tuesday because of icy conditions across the region.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 18, 2011; 4:45 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (1)
Categories:  Workplace Issues  
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MLK Day: How the Obama administration will celebrate

Happy Martin Luther King Jr. Day! Today is the second federal holiday of the year. Most government employees and officials have the day off. The U.S. Postal Service is not delivering mail today and post offices are closed.

By Ed O'Keefe  | January 17, 2011; 6:00 AM ET  |  Permalink  |  Comments (15)
Categories:  Administration, Eye Opener  
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