Tuesday morning federal headlines – Dec. 4, 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 FederalNewsRadio.com users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • House Republicans will lose one of their long-standing members. Rep. Jo Ann Emerson (R-Mo.) said she will be stepping down in February 2013. She accepted a position as president of the National Rural Electric Cooperative Association. Emerson is an eight-term veteran of Missouri’s eighth district. She is the first Republican woman the state sent to Congress. Emerson is a member of the Appropriations Committee and chairs the Financial Services and General Government Subcommittee. Her departure comes just after the GOP retained control of the House in last month’s national elections. (Rep. Jo Ann Emerson)
  • The National Archives appointed its first chief innovation officer. Pamela Wright will launch an “innovation hub” at the agency to foster a culture of innovation. Specifically, the Archives said she will launch collaborative projects, raise public challenges and build partnerships with universities and other outside groups. Wright was the agency’s chief digital access strategist and launched its social media platforms. She created the “citizen archivist dashboard” that uses crowdsourcing to tag, transcribe and edit articles. (National Archives and Records Administration)
  • Federal CIO Steven VanRoekel has talked a lot about TechStat sessions, but he doesn’t conduct many of them. That’s according to figures obtained by Fierce GovernmentIT. The website reported the Office of Management and Budget held only five TechStat sessions in 2011 and six so far this year. The intensive project review sessions were initiated in 2010 by former CIO Vivek Kundra as a way to either fix or end troubled IT projects. That year, OMB held 31 TechStats. OMB said the sessions have saved $4 billion. Last year, VanRoekel shifted responsibility for TechStat sessions to the agency level. (Fierce GovernmentIT)
  • Social Security employees will be picketing outside their offices tomorrow with the hope of pressuring leaders to strike a deal on the fiscal cliff. Their union representative, the American Federation of Government Employees, said sequestration could cut the agency’s budget by more than 5 percent. It said those cuts would add to the agency’s backlog and limit the help it could give Americans. It predicts Social Security would freeze hiring in all areas except its hearings operations. It would close 300 stations and cut face-to-face services in many rural areas. It would also stop mailing statements.(AFGE)
  • A GOP plan to avoid the fiscal cliff would cut federal pay and benefits. House Speaker John Boehner (R-Ohio) sent President Obama a proposal for raising $800 billion in new taxes over the next decade and called for making sharp cuts in federal spending. He said the plan should include reforms to federal employee compensation as the House budget resolution does. Boehner doesn’t give more detail in his letter. But that House bill, which has gone nowhere in the Senate, would freeze federal pay for another three years and let the government hire one new employee for every three that retire. Sequestration is scheduled to go into effect in less than a month. (Rep. John Boehner)
  • The General Services Administration has issued two requests for information on two big real estate projects. It wants ideas from the real estate industry for replacing the FBI building on Ninth Street, Northwest, and for developing an area known as Federal Triangle South. The FBI has outgrown its current building, completed in 1974. By most accounts, the building is ugly and outdated, and it’s likely to be torn down. The FBI is seeking new property somewhere in the Capital Region. Federal Triangle South borders L’Enfant Plaza. GSA said an aging cluster of buildings there is also due for redevelopment. GSA and the National Capital Planning Commission want to make the area into what they call a sustainable community. (GSA)