Tuesday morning federal headlines – Oct. 4

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.

  • The House is scheduled to vote this afternoon on a continuing resolution, which the Senate has already approved, to keep the government running until Nov. 18th. The measure funds the government at a rate of slightly more than $1 trillion. President Obama would have until midnight, tonight, to sign the bill and avert a government shutdown. The move will give Congress about six more weeks to work out a fiscal 2012 budget. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy has taken the next step toward a new information network. The service issued a draft solicitation for what it’s calling the Next Generation Enterprise Network, or NGEN. Navy officials believe NGEN will be the largest private IT network in the world and will eventually replace the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet, owned and operated by Hewlett Packard. HP inherited the 700,000 seat network when it acquired EDS Corporation in 2008. The Navy will issue a final RFP in December, and hopes to award a contract in early 2012. (Federal News Radio)
  • Emergent BioSolutions landed a contract worth up to $1.25 billion to deliver millions of doses of anthrax vaccine to the federal government. The Washington Business Journal reports the contract starts this year and runs for five more. The contract requires Emergent to deliver nearly 45 million doses of BioThrax to the government. BioThrax is the only vaccine licensed by the Food and Drug Administration to protect against anthrax infection. (Washington Business Journal)
  • A half-billion dollar Labor Department program to train “green job” workers is falling short of its goal: Only 10 percent of participants have found work so far, according to Labor’s Inspector General. The IG report found the low placement rate makes it unlikely the job program will meet its goal of placing 80,000 workers in green energy careers by 2013. The head of Labor’s Employment and Training Administration strongly disagrees with the report. She said she expects the number of job placements to increase in the next few months. (Federal News Radio)
  • The chief executive of SAIC has decided to step down. The Washington Business Journal reports that Walt Havenstein will retire as CEO, effective June 15, for personal reasons. Havenstein, who described the company’s last quarter as “disappointing,” said he will participate in the board of directors’ search for a successor. The company warned of slower revenue in August. (Washington Business Journal)
  • Salient Federal Solutions has announced a big buy, acquiring the Electronic Security Systems division of Dataline, LLC, a D.C.-based technology provider to the Defense Department. The acquisition adds new capabilities to Salient, including expertise in emergency-response systems and mass-notification services, the firm said in a release.
  • The TSA is preparing to roll out a pilot program that promises to get some travelers through airport security faster. Four major airports are trying out the “PreCheck,” which makes it easy for select passengers to get through security in return for voluntarily providing more personal information to the federal government. TSA Director John Pistole said the program will let his agency focus resources on higher risk passengers. Airports in Atlanta, Detroit, Miami and Dallas are rolling out the program. (Federal News Radio)
  • Meanwhile, TSA also announced it has purchased, and is testing, new technologies to help identify fake airline passenger credentials. The agency has not yet scheduled the operational tests but said they’ll take place in early 2012. TSA purchased 30 of the ID readers for $3.2 million. It’s been testing the technology in a laboratory since July. (TSA)
  • A federal grand jury in Santa Ana, Calif., has indicted 55 people following a massive tax fraud sting. The FBI said the fraudsters tried to obtain $250 million in federal tax refunds. Operation Stolen Treasures, which was conducted by FBI special agents and IRS Criminal Investigators, centered on two companies in the Southland area of California. Justice officials say, one of the companies, Old Quest Foundation, filed hundreds of false 1099 forms and reported $1 billion in withholdings.
  • Calling all space cadets. Early next month, NASA will open applications for the next class of astronauts, who will embark on long-duration missions to the International Space Station. Janet Kavnadi, the director of flight crew operations at Johnson Space Center in Houston, said it’s an exciting time to join the astronaut corps. It requires at least a bachelor’s degree in engineering, science or math plus several years working experience. Having extensive experience flying high performance jets helps, too. NASA will make final selections in 2013. Click here for more information. (NASA)