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.
The Veterans Affairs Department now says more than 57,000 veterans have been waiting at least 90 days for their first medical appointments. An additional 64,000 appear to have never gotten appointments at all. Leaders of both the House and Senate pledge to move quickly on legislation to help the VA. At a House hearing late last night, a top VA official apologized for the delays, calling them indefensible. (Federal News Radio)
Four Social Security judges will be in the spotlight on Capitol Hill. During a House hearing, they will face accusations that they rubber-stamped claims for disability benefits. GOP leaders of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee say each of the judges approved more than 90 percent of the cases heard. (Associated Press)
Some employees are accusing the CIA of not taking seriously accusations of misconduct in its ranks. Fifteen employees were found to have committed sexual, racial or other types of harassment last year. The agency says it has a zero-tolerance policy. (Associated Press)
Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel testifies tomorrow on the deal that lead to Army Sgt. Bowe Bergdahl’s rescue from the Taliban. He’ll go before the House Armed Services Committee in the first of several hearings on the issue. Chairman Buck McKeon says lawmakers have serious concerns about the prisoner swap that sent five Guantanamo Bay detainees to Qatar. Members of both political parties have expressed frustration at the Obama Administration for failing to notify Congress of the deal. Administration officials say the secrecy was necessary to protect Bergdahl. (Associated Press)
Customs and Border Protection has replaced its internal affairs chief. The Los Angeles Times reports, former assistant commissioner James Tomsheck stepped down amid concerns about investigations of Border Patrol agents. He had headed the office since 2006. Anthony Triplett is now the acting assistant commissioner for internal affairs. Customs and Border Protection released its use of force policy last month. Immigration advocates have raised concern about border agents’ use of deadly force against people who throw rocks at them along the Mexican border. (Associated Press)
Tom Temin is the host of The Federal Drive, which airs from 6-8 a.m. on 1500 AM in the Washington, D.C. 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.