The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Emily Kopp discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.
Washington has a new all-consuming debate after a Booz Allen Hamilton employee admitted to leaking massive national security information. Edward Snowden is a former undercover CIA employee. He let two newspapers reveal he is the source of information about digital information surveillance conducted by the National Security Agency. James Clapper, the director of National Intelligence, spent the weekend denouncing leaks made to The Washington Post and the Guardian. Booz Allen Hamilton promises to cooperate in the investigation of Snowden. He’s in Hong Kong, which has an extradition treaty with the United States. (The Washington Post/Federal News Radio)
An IRS manager in the tax exempt office says he and not the White House directed extra scrutiny of conservative groups. That’s according to Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-Md.), the ranking member of the House oversight committee. Cummings declares the IRS controversy as case-solved. The committee chairman, Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), disagrees. He wants people to see the entire transcript of the five-hour, closed-door testimony the manager gave. (Federal News Radio)
A Labor Department whistleblower is getting $820,000. In exchange, Bob Whitmore has agreed not to apply for any department position for 15 years. His attorney with Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility announced the deal. The 66-year-old Whitmore was a career official with the Occupational Safety and Health Administration. In 2007, he spoke out against the agency’s handling of workplace illnesses and injuries. OSHA put Whitmore on paid administrative leave for two years before firing him. The Federal Circuit Court of Appeals found OSHA managers schemed to get Whitmore removed. (PEER)
What does Alexandria, Va., have that Arlington, Va., doesn’t? The southern neighbor is stealing away the National Science Foundation. The agency is moving its headquarters and more than 2,000 jobs to the new Hoffman Town Center near the Eisenhower Avenue Metro station. The move won’t happen until 2017. The General Services Administration negotiated the deal. It predicts the government will save $65 million over the lease’s 15 years. The National Science Foundation is in Arlington’s Ballston neighborhood now. (GSA)
Michigan has convinced the Treasury Department to allow a novel use of Troubled Asset Relief Program funds. The state will use $100 million of TARP money to tear down abandoned houses and other buildings. Atlantic Cities reports, Detroit alone has 30,000 abandoned buildings. The money comes from a TARP fund called Hardest Hit. It took some jawboning by Rep. Daniel Kildee (D-Mich.) to convince Treasury Secretary Jacob Lew to allow TARP funds for demolition. Flint, Grand Rapids, Pontiac and Saginaw will also use TARP money for tear-downs. (Atlantic Cities)
A bill to make it easier for vets who were sexually assaulted in the military to claim disability benefits is moving through the House. The Veterans Affairs committee approved the measure last week. It’s named after Navy vet Ruth Moore, who says she was repeatedly raped by her supervisor. The Veterans Affairs Department denied her benefits for more than two decades. The bill would impose new reporting and transparency requirements on the VA. It would not require victims to show proof of an assault. They could just give testimony. That would align it with VA requirements for combat veterans applying for disability payments. (Rep. Chellie Pingree)
The trial of the Army private who gave troves of classified material to the website WikiLeaks resumes at Fort Meade, Md. Testifying today at Pfc. Bradley Manning’s court martial are two witnesses familiar with video of a 2009 U.S. airstrike in Afghanistan that killed at least 26 civilians. Manning has acknowledged sending the video to WikiLeaks from Iraq in the spring of 2010. It was never posted online. (Federal News Radio)
President Barack Obama will nominate today a veteran White House economic official to chair the Council of Economic Advisers. Jason Furman would replace Alan Krueger, who is returning to Princeton University. The council is one of two main sources of economic advice to the president. The other is the National Economic Council. Furman currently serves as its principal deputy director. Elsewhere. the Senate Commerce Committee holds a business meeting this afternoon to consider the nominations of Charlotte Mayor Anthony Foxx and businesswoman Penny Pritzker. Foxx has been tapped for Transportation Secretary and Pritzker for Commerce. (Federal News Radio)
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-9 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, DC region and online everywhere. Tom has 30 years experience in journalism, mostly in technology markets. Before coming to Federal News Radio, he was a long-serving editor-in-chief of Government Computer News and Washington Technology magazines.