Friday morning federal headlines – Oct. 28

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 House has overwhelmingly voted to repeal a tax withholding law for government contractors in a rare show of unity. The law requires the government to hold on to 3 percent of what contractors are owed until they pay their taxes. The withholding requirement wouldn’t have taken effect until January 2013 and was meant to raise billions in revenue. But members of both parties agree now repealing the law allows companies to use that money to create more jobs. The bill now moves to the Senate. (Federal News Radio)
  • USAJobs’ troubled launch has one lawmaker pushing for changes. Sen. John Kerry (D-Mass.) is renewing his call to use outside vendors to manage the government’s top jobs website. In a letter Kerry says the outages and glitches USAJobs has suffered since the new version launched two weeks ago are evidence the decision to manage the site in-house might have been a bad one. Kerry said he wants to see a competitive bidding process to get the best web design and management services for the best price.
  • The Pentagon’s undersecretary for personnel has resigned amid an investigation into complaints of waste and mismanagement. Retired Marine major general Clifford Stanley plans to leave in the next two weeks, but Pentagon officials said Stanley’s decision to resign was his own and that the investigation was not a factor in his decision. Since Stanley took office in February 2010, several anonymous complaints were filed against him with the Defense Department’s inspector general. The complaints alleged that Stanley was abusive to staff, wasted money on expensive and unneeded contractors and was not up to his job. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Transportation Security Administration has more time to offer early-outs to it’s employees if it needs to. TSA was granted an extension of its authority to offer the early-out options through Dec. 31, 2013. But the agency said it’s not actively pursing early-outs right now. Check out the Buyout Guide for a list of all agencies offering buyouts.
  • One congressman says intelligence is the best defense against terrorism. Representative Dutch Ruppersberger (D-Md.), the ranking Democrat on the House Intelligence Committee, will give a keynote speech about maintaining technology for intelligence initiatives under tough financial conditions, the Associated Press reports. He’ll speak later today at the C4-ISR Journal Conference in Arlington, Va. He has said the nation must find efficiencies and eliminate duplicative efforts to invest in the future. (AP)
  • It has been a strange few weeks for iconic buildings in Washington, D.C. You’ve seen engineers rappelling down the Washington Monument and stone masons on the National Cathedral. Soon you’ll see workers beginning the restoration of the Capitol Dome skirt — the lower level of the cast-iron dome. The Architect of the Capitol said the restoration will include repairing and restoring historic ironwork, sandstone and brick masonry. Work has been going on behind the scenes for several months, and scaffolding will be covered with a white scrim so it won’t be so obvious. Most of the work will be done at night and on weekends to ensure minimal disruption to Congressional business, events and public tours. (Architect of the Capitol)