Federal News Countdown: VA hearing, fed morale and DoD budget

Today’s guests on the Federal News Countdown:
Jenny Mattingley, vice president and Global Energy and Environmental Industry lead, CGI
Josh Sawislak, senior fell, Telework Exchange

Molly O’Neill’s stories
#3 Hearing on Veterans Affairs conference spending turns combative
From GovExec:

“Veterans Affairs Department officials assured lawmakers during a hearing Wednesday that VA has taken measures to ensure it will not waste taxpayer dollars on lavish conferences such as two widely criticized human resources training events held in Orlando, Fla., in the summer of 2011. But the hearing turned contentious, with one Republican going as far as to say he “could care less about the bureaucrats” at VA.”

#2 Federal employees maintain commitment in face of declining morale
From Federal Daily:


” The results of the 2012 Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, released this month by the Office of Personnel Management, indicate that federal employees’ remain dedicated to their jobs in spite of an overall decline in morale. The 2012 FEVS, which reached more than 687,000 federal employees, was the largest and most detailed survey since the FEVS debuted in 2002, OPM said.”

#1 Senator: ‘Gang of Six’ won’t release deficit-reduction plan
From Federal Times:

“A high-profile bipartisan group of U.S. senators will not release its deficit-reduction plan as the White House and congressional leaders try to avoid fiscal chaos and deep Pentagon spending cuts. Asked Nov. 27 by Defense News whether the “Gang of Six” plans to make public the fruits of its labor, Sen. Saxby Chambliss, R-Ga., replied “no” before entering an elevator in the Capitol.”

Dan Mintz’s stories
#3 House panel chairman pushes GSA over supply schedules proposal
From Federal Times:

“A House panel chairman is pressing the General Services Administration to back off of its plan to reduce the federal supply schedules contracting program on grounds it will harm small-business contractors. GSA announced this year that it will use a “demand-based model” to phase out more than 8,000 supply schedule contracts it identified as obsolete.”

#2 Pentagon budget planners left waiting on the White House
From Foreign Policy:

“As Indiana Jones knows, the Pentagon has top men working on things like its budget year round. Top men. But as the White House and congressional leaders enter into negotiations to avoid the fiscal cliff and sequestration, budget teams inside the Pentagon eager to avoid enormous and automatic cuts are busily working on…nothing.”

#1 Issa looks to ban Internet regulations
From The Hill:

“Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) is seeking input on a bill that would impose a two-year ban on new laws or regulations that affect the Internet. Issa released a draft of his Internet American Moratorium Act on Monday night and said that he would answer questions about the legislation on Reddit, a social news and discussion site, on Wednesday morning.”