Monday morning federal headlines – June 18

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

  • The Secret Service’s prostitution scandal in Colombia was not a one-time event, according to internal government reports. Hundreds of documents dating back to 2004 describe allegations that agents not only used prostitutes but also leaked information, committed sex assault, published porn and more. The most recent complaints were just last month. All are detailed in more than 230 pages released Friday to media organizations under the Freedom of Information Act. Lawmakers are urging restraint, however. Senate Homeland Security Committee Chairman Joe Lieberman (I-Conn.) says the public should withhold judgment until the agency’s inspector general finishes investigating. It’s not clear how many of the accusations were found true. (Federal News Radio)
  • Three departments report progress in keeping unscrupulous colleges from getting GI Bill and DoD educational funds. Defense, Veterans Affairs and Education are trying to implement a White House order concerning for-profit schools. Schools that sign onto the administration’s so-called principles of excellence will get VA endorsement. VA is tying to trademark the word GI Bill so it can control which schools use it in their marketing. DoD requires schools to submit to third-party inspection if they want to receive military tuition dollars. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Postal Service wanted postmasters off its payroll, but now it wants them back. The agency is offering part-time work to employees eligible for retirement. It says it will consider others, but it needs postmasters for their knowledge and community connections. The Postal Service wants to reduce hours at thousands of post offices. That’s where the part-time postmasters would work for about $12 an hour. They would still be able to receive their retirement pay. The Postal Service has offered buyouts to 21,000 postmasters as part of its recovery plan. (
  • Women who sign up for combat duty can expect a bruising…from their uniforms. Body armor designed for men can lead to bleeding and chafing. In addition, they contribute to a high rate of urinary and vaginal infections. USA Today reports these finding from an Army task force of female officers. The committee says paying attention to these health issues is critical as the military opens more combat positions to women. The Army says it is testing armor made for women. (USA Today)
  • The White House is asking Congress to back off while the Justice Department examines recent leaks of classified information. Senior advisor David Plouffe told Fox News Sunday that they should wait for the results of a very thorough investigation. He says the president has “zero tolerance” for leaks. But Connecticut Senator Joe Lieberman says the White House is not going far enough. He is calling for a special counsel to replace the two federal prosecutors assigned to the investigation. He says that will avoid any appearance of conflict of interest. Lieberman chairs the Senate Homeland Security Committee. He says the recent leaks revealing that the United States helped launch a cyber attack on Iran was the “worst in a long time.” (Fox News and Federal News Radio)
  • A new week in the epic drama between the lawmaker and the attorney general gets underway today. Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.) says he’s willing to postpone a contempt of Congress vote scheduled for Wednesday. The object of that vote, Attorney General Eric Holder, says he’s willing to send over documents Issa wants. Issa’s Oversight and Government Reform Committee is investigating the Justice Department’s defunct gun-walking experiment known as Fast and Furious. Issa and Senator Chuck Grassley say they’re willing to meet with Holder tomorrow, but they want the documents before the pow-wow. (CBS News)
  • The iPad might soon share its perch as king of the tablet hill. Microsoft is expected to unveil a new tablet today. The New York Times reports, it would be the first computer designed by Microsoft. The company has been caught behind in the burgeoning mobility movement. One reason for the iPad’s success is that Apple designs and builds both the machine and the software. That’s a different model than the one that made Microsoft rich. Microsoft licensed DOS and then Windows to any and all computer builders, but never made computers of its own. Microsoft will introduce the new tablet at a media event in Los Angeles. (New York Times)