Wednesday morning federal headlines – Jan. 16, 2013

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 Justice Department wants to sue Lance Armstrong for defrauding the government. The Wall Street Journal says Justice has recommended the government join a suit filed by Armstrong’s former teammate Floyd Landis. The Postal Service spent $30 million to sponsor Armstrong’s team. Its contract required him not to use performance-enhancing drugs. The Justice Department has been weighing the case since 2010. Tomorrow is the last day for it to join as a plaintiff. It’s also the day that Armstrong’s interview with Oprah Winfrey airs. The Associated Press has reported: Armstrong will admit to using drugs. (The Wall Street Journal)
  • The Postal Service is trying 55 new ways to make money as it struggles to climb out of the red. It’s selling greeting cards with pre-paid postage. It’s also offering same-day delivery service when you order something from a local shop. But government auditors say the revenue generated from these new projects pales in comparison to what the agency needs. Altogether, they would net about $140 million, when the Postal Service lost $16 billion last year. (Federal News Radio)
  • Despite criticism from Republican members, the House has approved a $50.5 billion disaster relief package for victims of Superstorm Sandy. Conservatives had threatened to pare down the bill, saying it was laden with pork. They left it largely intact but did strip it of about $10 billion that would have gone to repair seawalls and buildings on uninhabited islands off of Connecticut. The bill does not include some cost-cutting measures that could have hurt feds. One lawmaker had tried to amend the bill to cut federal workers’ mass-transit benefit and to cut agency budgets across the board. The Senate is expected to pass the bill next week. (Federal News Radio)
  • FEMA’s former human resources director pleaded guilty to conflict-of-interest charges. Prosecutors say Timothy Cannon negotiated a job with the Gallup Organization while he was supervising its contract with the agency. FEMA had hired the polling group to administer a workplace initiative over a number of years. Cannon could face up to five years in prison. But he may spend no time in jail since he has a clean record. His conduct was revealed in a whistleblower lawsuit alleging that Gallup over-billed FEMA and other agencies including the State Department and the Office of Personnel Management. (Federal News Radio)