Wednesday morning federal headlines – Nov. 7 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.

  • Full coverage of Election 2012
  • Look for turnover at the top ranks of federal departments for the second Obama administration. Observers say it’s likely the current crew is tired, having served the full four years of the first term. Stephen Hess, senior fellow at the Brookings Institution, says State, Treasury, Defense and Justice can all be expected to turn over. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton and Treasury Secretary Timothy Geithner have already announced plans to retire. Speculation for Defense centers on Michele Flournoy, Obama’s former Defense Undersecretary, and the current undersecretary Ashton Carter. (Federal News Radio)
  • Republicans missed their chance to gain control of both houses of Congress last night, and with it control of committees affecting federal workers. Votes are still being counted in a few tight races, but it’s clear the House and Senate will remain near the status quo. In the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, Delaware Senator Tom Carper will take over for outgoing Chairman Joe Lieberman. And Michigan Senator Carl Levin will take over leadership of the Oversight of Government Management Subcommittee for retiring member Daniel Akaka. (Federal News Radio)
  • The National Security Agency is celebrating its 60th birthday today. The intelligence agency is releasing a new book highlighting its achievements in signals intelligence, information assurance, research and contributions to U.S. foreign policy. There’s a party at the agency’s National Cryptologic Museum later today. The guests of honor are two agency veterans who worked on the SIGABA cipher machine during World War II. It was the only machine whose code enemies never broke. (National Security Agency)
  • Postal workers are rolling up their sleeves for a fight against contractors. USPS has proposed contracting out its vehicle service in California as a cost- saving measure. The Federal Daily reports that would eliminate nearly 900 postal jobs. Bob Pritchard of the American Postal Workers Union says it’s prepared to “pursue every avenue” to protect its members jobs. A hearing is scheduled for Friday. The union is also pursuing arbitration, which is scheduled for the end of the month. (Federal Daily)
  • Foreign military servicemembers are at Fort Meade this week to brush up on their PR skills. Fifteen students at the Defense Information School are studying the American approach to public affairs. The Defense Department says the students are learning to enhance the image of their respective militaries and how to release accurate timely information. As part of their coursework, they are developing 30-page communication plans to present to their commanders back home. U.S. officials say the training helps the Defense Department by “having everyone on the same page.” Students come from South Sudan, Ukraine, Jordan, among other countries. (Defense Department)
  • We’re seeing a picture of the next Obama administration’s technology agenda. The president just days ago spelled it out to a New York Tech Crunch meet-up. Expect continued support for high-skilled immigration reform. Obama backs the Startup 2.0 Act, which would increase work visas for foreign Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) graduates from American universities. Also look for more work on open government reform, and more dissemination of government data stores for use by the private sector. (Tech Crunch)