The Veterans Affairs Department, Congress and Government Accountability Office all agree: an outdated and inflexible hiring process and serious shortcomings with the department’s human resources functions are prohibiting the agency from quickly filling at least 45,000 open health care positions.
While the Defense Department balances the threat of sequestration with additional spending money from the White House, some members of Congress are looking at ways to support military members and their families.
Top officials in two military branches say a yearlong continuing resolution would stop civilian hiring and flying hours.
A new bill that would limit how much time doctors, nurses and other employees at the Veterans Affairs Department could spend on union business has support now from VA itself. The department said having its employees spend 100 percent of their hours on official time is “necessary, reasonable and in the public’s best interest.”
House Republican leaders are trying to wrangle enough of their own members to approve the final version of the American Health Care Reform Act, the bill intended to “repeal and replace” the Affordable Care Act. David Hawkings, a senior editor at Roll Call, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss what could happen if the bill makes it to the Senate floor and the President eventually signs.
A Defense Business Board report remains a thorn in DoD’s side, even as the agency stands to get an additional $54 billion in spending for fiscal 2018.
Only one military leader was aware of a new investigation into Tumblr blogs by the military.
President Donald Trump has signed legislation adding human exploration of Mars to NASA’s mission
Employees who handle veterans benefits claims and the disability claims backlog, as well as some cybersecurity professionals, are among the Veterans Affairs Department’s additional hiring freeze exemptions. VA Secretary David Shulkin announced more exemptions in a March 13 memo to staff.
A year-long task force wants the Defense Department to change childcare, TRICARE and the “up or out” system.
Thousands of rules come out each year from regulatory agencies that place a large burden on the economy. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the subcommittee on regulatory affairs and federal management, joined Federal Drive with Tom Temin to discuss why regulatory reform is needed.
Most of the civilian agencies are taking some cuts in their budgets, and a number of programs are being eliminated.
Trump’s 2017 supplemental budget goes over the legal budget caps.
The Government Accountability Office is questioning whether the right people, skills and leadership were devoted to the Veterans Affairs Department’s past efforts to remove VA healthcare from the High-Risk List. But current VA leadership insisted it’s paying attention and asked for patience as it continues to transform the department.
House Armed Services Committee aides say they want to keep a close eye on the personnel reforms put in place by the 2017 NDAA.