Tuesday morning federal headlines – Sept. 20

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 FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • President Barack Obama has called on federal workers to help reduce the deficit. His latest deficit-reduction plan includes $42.5 billion in savings by trimming federal employee benefits. Half of those savings would come from changes in the military TRICARE system, and the other half would come from changes to the pension system. The president recommended civilian employees raise their pension contributions by 1.2 percent, which would be phased in starting with the 2013 fiscal year. Two federal employee unions have weighed in against the proposal. (Federal News Radio)
  • Air Force Secretary Michael Donley has put his foot down on budget cuts. Donley listed programs he says the Air Force, and national defense, can’t live without, including the F-35 fighter, new aerial refueling tankers, unmanned aircraft and a new long-range bomber. Donley said he would oppose changes to the triad strategy of nuclear missile delivery from planes, submarines and missiles. (Federal News Radio)
  • President Obama wants to slash how much top federal contractor executives are reimbursed under government contracts. The cap now stands at $700,000 per year. That’s up from $250,000 in 1995. In his latest deficit reduction plan, the president has proposed setting it at $200,000, saying it will align contractor compensation with salaries of federal executives. Stan Soloway, president of the Professional Services Council, called the cap “illogical,” and is way below market standards. (Federal News Radio)
  • The CFO Act of 1990 needs some sprucing up, according to a new multi-agency review. The report recommends Congress standardize the role of the federal chief financial officer. It also finds deputy CFOs should have more clout, to make up for time between political appointments of CFOs. The other major recommendation is to update the federal financial reporting model to accommodate the growing number of people who need to see the data — including the general public. Congress required the review as part of the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act.(Federal News Radio)
  • The end of the Defense Department’s Don’t Ask Don’t Tell policy is already showing its effects. One Naval officer married his male partner in a Vermont ceremony. The pair exchanged vows at midnight Eastern Standard Time, the moment the ban on openly gay service members ended. The officer wore his dress uniform. The New York Times reports also reports a long-time champion of gay military rights has dropped his pseudonym, identifying himself as Air Force First Lt. Josh Seefried. Meanwhile, the Pentagon reported it’s already receiving enlistment applications from gay people. DoD said 97 percent of the military has received training in the new law. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Census Bureua has just cut a deal with Vangent to help with its workforce scheduling system, The Washington Business Journal reports. The three-year deal worth more than $5 million is the company’s first prime contract with the Census. Vangent, which is being acquired by General Dynamics, has won a contract to install and operate a transaction recording and automated workforce scheduling system at the bureau’s call centers. The work will be done at the call centers in Maryland, Indiana, and Arizona. (Washington Business Journal)
  • President Obama said the U.S. Postal Service should be allowed to reduce mail delivery to five days a week. His deficit reduction plan would also give back to the Postal Service the $7 billion it’s overpaid into the federal retirement system. The plan calls for a two-year break from further pre-payments. The president’s plan would let Postal officials raise delivery rates and shut retail post offices. Postmaster General Patrick Donohoe has been looking for ways to reduce losses; USPS expects to lose $8.5 billion this year. (Federal News Radio)