Thursday morning federal headlines – July 26, 2012

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.

  • A bill demanding details of sequestration is waiting for President Barack Obama’s signature.The Senate has given final approval to a bill forcing the White House to explain how sequestration would fall on agencies. The bill demands details that the administration has been reluctant to provide. It requires those details within 30 days of becoming law. The Office of Management and Budget said it was hard to determine which federal programs would bear the brunt of the automatic cuts next year. OMB said it is waiting for Congress to pass the fiscal year 2013 budget.(
  • Intelligence officials would have to forget about lucrative media contracts post retirement if a bill moving through the Senate becomes law. The Senate Intelligence Committee is sending a bill to stem national security leaks to the full chamber for a vote. The legislation would restrict the number of employees in the intelligence community authorized to talk with reporters. And it would stop both current and former intelligence officials from working as media commentators or experts. The White House would have to tell Congress whenever it authorized disclosures of certain intelligence information. (Federal News Radio)
  • The House voted overwhelmingly yesterday to give itself greater power over the Federal Reserve. The bill would require the Government Accountability Office to conduct audits of the Fed’s Board of Governors and its 12 regional banks. The Dodd Frank Act of 2008 already requires audits of some Fed activities. But the new bill would go further into the Fed’s monetary policy decision making and its agreements with foreign central banks. Fed Chairman Ben Bernanke opposes the measures. The bill was sponsored by longtime Fed opponent, Rep. Ron Paul (R-Texas). (Federal News Radio)
  • Agencies are hiring more people with disabilities but risk falling short of a goal set by President Barack Obama. This week marks the two-year anniversary of the president’s executive order directing agencies to hire about 20,000 more people with disabilities a year over five years. Agencies did better last year than in 2010. About one in six new hires were people with disabilities. Still agencies would have to hire even more workers with disabilities in the next three years to meet the goal. Assistant Secretary of Labor Kathy Martinez said fear is one of the biggest hiring barriers. Managers do not know how a person with disabilities can perform a job even if they’re qualified, she said. (Federal News Radio)
  • Education Secretary Arne Duncan said sequestration could force him to furlough employees at the Education Department. Speaking Wednesday at a Senate appropriations subcommittee, Duncan did not say exactly how many employees would have to be furloughed. Duncan also said sequestration would hamper the Education Department’s ability to detect waste, fraud and abuse. Lawmakers have already spoken with defense officials about the effects of sequestration. But this is the first time Congress spoke with a civilian agency leader.(Federal News Radio)
  • Although Lockheed Martin warned about sequestration-related layoffs on Capitol Hill last week, this week the company is singing a different tune. The Bethesda-based defense contractor reported a big jump in profits in the second quarter. And Washington Business Journal reports Lockheed has boosted its 2012 outlook overall. Revenue in the second quarter rose to $11.9 billion, up from $11.5 billion last year. Three out of four of its divisions saw an increase in sales with the most coming from Lockheed’s Space Systems division. (Washington Business Journal)