Friday morning federal headlines – Sept. 9

The Morning Federal Newscast is a daily compilation of the stories you hear Federal Drive hosts Tom Temin and Amy Morris discuss throughout the show each day. The Newscast is designed to give users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • The Homeland Security Department is delaying plans for new headquarters buildings. The Senate Appropriations Committee cut money for the project out of its 2012 budget plan for DHS, however the bill does include $56 million for a Coast Guard building. Homeland Security had hoped to move into its new building complex in 2016. Napolitano said that timetable will be delayed by at least a year. Both buildings are under construction in southeast D.C., on the site of the former St. Elizabeth’s hospital. Napolitano said her first priority is maintaining staffing and equipment levels necessary to carry out the department’s missions. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Barack Obama proposed a combination of spending and tax breaks to help put more Americans to work in a speech before a joint session of Congress. Among the proposals is faster payment of federal contractors, especially small businesses.The president also called for further trimming of costly federal regulations. (Federal News Radio)
  • A credible but unconfirmed terror threat against New York and Washington, D.C., is ramping up already heightened security across the nation’s capitol. Counterterrorism officials have warned against a possible car bomb attack as the 10th anniversary of 9/11 approaches. Homeland Security said they’re investigating a detailed al-Qaida plot aimed at blowing up bridges or tunnels in New York or Washington. Unattended cars parked near critical infrastructure will be towed, officials in both cities said. (Federal News Radio)
  • The bipartisan deficit reduction committee got down to work this week. It met for less than an hour yesterday to establish rules and members pledged to exceed their goal of $1.2 trillion in cuts over ten years. Besides trimming agency budgets, the committee can also look at tax hikes and trimming entitlements. The meeting wasn’t all moonlight and roses. Sen. John Kyl (R-Ariz.) threatened to quit the committee if it makes further cuts in the defense budget. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Securities and Exchange Commission has suspended the destruction of documents after a whistleblower said the agency was illegally shredding paper related to thousands of investigations. A spokesman told Federal News Radio the agency is reviewing its records retention policies with the National Archives and Records Administration. The whistleblower, an SEC lawyer, said documents from high profile cases, such as the Bernard Madoff investigation were among those turned into confetti.(Federal News Radio)
  • The Senate has passed the first overhaul of the U.S. Patent system since the 1950s. The House passed its version in June and the president has said he’ll sign the legislation. Under the new system, the Patent and Trademark Office will favor the first party to file a patent application, instead of who claims to be the first inventor. The legislation also overhauls the fee system to give PTO enough money to reduce its backlog of applications. (Federal News Radio)
  • The FBI swarmed the office of a solar panel manufacturer that went bankrupt after winning a $535 million loan from the federal government. FBI agents took dozens of boxes of documents form the headquarters of Solyndra. The Energy Department’s Office of Inspector General launched the investigation. The loans awarded to Solyndra were part of the economic stimulus package that Congress passed in 2009. Its bankruptcy is departure for a company that was once held up as the model for government investment in green technology. (Federal News Radio)