Wednesday morning federal headlines – Jan. 25, 2012

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

  • Federal chief financial officers are feeling the money pressure at the top of Federal agencies. A Federal News Radio exclusive survey of CFOs finds managing spending cuts is the top priority. Also high on the list is helping their agencies use financial data to make better decisions. But CFOs worry their workforces aren’t ready to do that. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House clears another temporary extension for the Federal Aviation Administration. It’s the 23rd for that agency since 2007. Lawmakers have squabbled over how airline workers can form unions. But this time, House and Senate negotiators say they’re close to a final bill to end the extensions. The new deadline is Feb. 17, and a deal is expected by then. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Army might cancel the multimillion dollar program to upgrade its Humvees. Military sources tell AOL Defense. The Army says it wants to redirect the money to the Joint Light Tactical Vehicle. The Humvee program has already been waning. Army leaders have been cutting the program from as many as 100,000 vehicles to 6,000. Each one has a price tag of about $350,000. (AOL Defense)
  • Buyouts help to push staffing levels at the Government Printing Office to their lowest in a century. GPO says more than 300 people left in the second half of 2011, most of them because of a buyout program for about 15 percent of its workforce. The agency expects to save $42 million through the end of fiscal 2013. GPO is dealing with a $9 million budget cut. (Federal News Radio)
  • Federal retirees who are waiting for their benefits to begin may see some relief on the horizon. OPM’s retirement services director says he’s tackling the backlog of nearly 50,000 retirement applications. OPM says it’s hired more people at its Boyers, Pa., facility where the applications are processed. It’s part of a four pillar strategy the agency released last week. (Federal News Radio)
  • Two men have pleaded guilty to buying guns that were destined to be smuggled into Mexico, the Associated Press reported. They are the first convictions in the federal government’s botched Operation Fast and Furious. The goal of the investigations was to catch weapons-trafficking kingpins, but firearms agents lost track of many weapons they were trying to trace to smuggling ringleaders, and some guns ended up at crime scenes in Mexico and the U.S. Jacob Wayne Chambers and Jacob Anthony Montelongo each pleaded guilty in federal court to a conspiracy charge. (Associated Press)
  • The chairman and ranking member of the House Homeland Security Committee say their panel needs more authority over the Homeland Security Department. Rep. Peter King (R-N.Y.) and Rep. Bennie Thompson (D-Miss.) call scattered oversight an unfinished piece of business from 9/11.They’ve asked Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) to consider a rule that would consolidate DHS oversight under their committee. They cite a White House statement claiming that DHS reports to 100 congressional panels. (Committee on Homeland Security)