Monday morning federal headlines – Nov. 14, 2011

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.

  • Five NASA installations are the latest additions to the buyout list. Headquarters in Washington, Florida’s Kennedy Space Center, Ames Research Center in California, Houston’s Johnson Space Center and the Marshall Space Center in Huntsville, Ala., are all slimming down. Gov Exec reports the available buyout total among the five locations covers over 500 employees. (Gov Exec)
  • Federal contractors hunting for medicare fraud could be letting the crooks get away. An inspector general’s report finds those contractors are using inaccurate and inconsistent information. The government pays the contractors millions of dollars in its effort to stop fraud costing an estimated $60 billion. The inspector general says the problems make it impossible for the government to find out if the contractors are effective. This isn’t the first time the problem has popped up. An investigation 10 years ago found the same issues. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House might have considered firing its energy secretary, according to the Associated Press. An internal email from a former Obama campaign advisor called for Steven Chu to be removed and reassigned, in the wake of Solyndra scandal. The administration gave that company a half-billion dollar loan, just before it failed and laid off more than 1,000 people. Former White House chief of staff Peter Rouse forwarded the email to at least 18 people in the administration. But a White House spokesman says the idea didn’t gain much traction. (Federal News Radio)
  • With just over a week left, there is still no deficit deal in sight for the Congressional supercommittee. Lawmakers admit they are far from agreeing on $1.2 trillion dollars in deficit savings over the next decade. The panel is divided along partisan lines. President Obama says he urged Republican leadership to be more flexible, but negotiations did not go well. The committee is stuck on finding a mutually agreeable blend of tax increases and government cuts. (Federal News Radio)