Friday Morning Federal Newscast – July 2nd

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear approves an $80-billion dollar measure to fund the war in Afghanistan. The bill is needed to pay for 30,000 additional troops ordered to that country. It also contains domestic items, including money for summer jobs and college grants. It cleared the House by a narrow margin, 215 to 210 votes. The measure now goes to the Senate, where Republicans have promised to block the domestic spending. The White House weighed in with a veto threat over $800 million in cuts to education programs.

  • Six suicide bombers attacked a U.S. Agency for International Development compound in northern Afghanistan, killing at least four people and wounding several others. Two of the dead were foreigners. The Taliban has claimed responsibility for the attack, which began about 3:30 a.m. local time. A suicide car bomber detonated a SUV at the entrance to the compound’s entrance. Also this morning, five attackers stormed a building used by Development Alternatives, a Washington consulting company that has a contract with the US-AID.
  • A provision to require use of Extensible Business Reporting Language, or XBRL, for financial data reporting by corporations has been struck from the financial regulation reform bill now before the Senate. Representative Darryl Issa, and says he doesn’t know why it was left out of the Senate version. The widely-used XBRL makes financial data easier to collect, publish and compare. Proponents say it is key to improving financial transparency. NextGov reports, Issa vowed to bring the XBRL provision before the full House for a separate vote.
  • has re-launched with a brand new look and a fresh apps gallery for your mobile phone. GSA says the revamp is designed to improve access to vital citizen services. It also reorganizes information for government agencies. The site comes a set of public engagement tools and performance dashboards. The search engine is reportedly nine-times faster than the old one.
  • Two NASA science satellites will be launched atop Orbital’s rockets. Orbital Sciences Corp is based in Dulles. It develops small and medium class rockets and space systems for commercial, military, and government customers. The Washington Business Journal reports NASA chose Orbital to take IRIS and OCO-2 to orbit. IRIS will measure the Sun’s energy flow through the solar corona. It’ll help us better understand things like sunspots. OCO-2 will study carbon dioxide in the Earth’s atmosphere. The launch is planned for 2012.
  • A federal audit has found that federal fishery police misspent millions of dollars in fines collected from fishermen on cars, boats and travel. The audit was ordered by the Commerce Department after its inspector general found mismanagement by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s law enforcement office. NOAA says it has taken steps to increase accountability.
  • All American flags have been ordered to half-staff in honor of Senator Robert Byrd. The flags are to remain at half-staff until the Senator’s funeral, scheduled for next week. But there’s a twist. The proclamation conflicts with the Federal Flag Code which says that the flag must fly at full staff on 14 specific days of the year, including Independence Day.So the flags will be at half staff, then raised on Sunday for Independence Day, then back to half staff until the Senator’s funeral.
  • If you’re heading to the big national independence day parade on Sunday, look out for something new from an agency you know. The National Archives launching its first float. Now, on that float, you’ll see NARA’s new logo. It’s an eagle to represent guardianship and the agency’s role to protect and provide access to federal records.

  • More news links

    Feds wasted millions in utilities program for poor


    VA secretary: St. Louis mistakes ‘unacceptable’

    Twitter Musings in Syria Elicit Groans in Washington (NYTimes)

    Zoo may seek to swap one or both pandas in hopes of breeding a cub (Washington Post)

    And Finally

    Fish & Wildlife Service reopens public comment period on plan to restrict giant invasive snakes