Monday morning federal headlines – Feb. 11, 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 head of the U.S. Customs and Border Protection is retiring. Deputy Commissioner David Aguilar said he will be leaving at the end of March. He has spent 32 years with the agency including decades in the border patrol. Homeland Security Secretary Janet Napolitano has not named a successor to lead the agency. (Federal News Radio)
  • The National Weather Service announced Sunday that Louis Uccellini will be the agency’s new director effective immediately. Uccellini is a 24-year veteran of the agency. He was previously director of the National Centers for Environmental Protection in College Park, Md. He is a fellow and two-term president of the American Meteorological Society. Uccellini has also co-authored the two-volume title, “Northeast Snowstorms.” Laura Furgione, who had been acting director, will return to her job as deputy. (National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration)
  • The Recovery, Accountability and Transparency Board, which was supposed to expire this September, will instead have a new, two-year lease on life. Government Executive reported that the extension comes courtesy of the Hurricane Sandy relief bill President Obama signed into law last month. A provision to keep the RAT board alive for the purposes of tracking Sandy relief dollars is buried deep in the $50 billion bill. The board was created by the 2009 economic stimulus bill to track and report on the nearly $900 billion that law authorized. Under the Sandy law, the board will send quarterly reports to the House and Senate appropriations committees. (Gov Exec)
  • Sen. Lindsey Graham (R-S.C.) said he plans to put holds on John Brennan and Chuck Hagel’s nominations for CIA chief and Defense secretary, respectively, in order to prevent the vote of both confirmations. Graham wants to find out more answers from the White House as to what happened on Sept. 11, 2012, when the State Department outpost in Benghazi, Libya was attacked by terrorists resulting in the deaths of four Americans. Graham told the “Face the Nation” talk show on Sunday that he wants to get to the bottom of Benghazi. The White House calls the move unprecedented and unwarranted. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House Office of Management and Budget Controller Danny Werfel said hundreds of thousands of federal workers will have to take leave without pay if the government follows through on $85 billion in broad spending cuts next month. He said agencies should have informed employees last week. But agencies that actually go through with furloughs must give employees who are affected more detailed, personalized notices at least 30 days in advance. Werfel said he has not heard of that happening yet and some agencies would make immediate cuts under sequestration while others might aim for gradual decreases in spending and services. He added agencies may not have a choice without reprogramming authority from Congress. (Federal News Radio)
  • A worker who is a victim of domestic violence does not have to prove it and definitely should not be forced to go to the police, according to tips in new guidance by the Office of Personnel Management. The handbook for agency leaders stems from a 2012 presidential directive on stopping domestic violence in the federal workforce. The guide addresses sexual assault and stalking too. It recommends agencies assemble planning groups of managers, union representatives, human resources experts and security professionals to assess current policies. It said agencies must have reporting procedures and incident response plans. Each agency has four months to tailor a draft policy based on the guidance. (OPM)
  • It looks as if President Barack Obama will propose a 1 percent pay raise for federal wokers in his fiscal 2014 budget plan. It comes after more than two years of a pay freeze followed by a 0.5 percent raise that is supposed to begin in March. Federal unions said it’s better than nothing but not good enough. The American Federation of Government Employees said a 1 percent raise does not tell feds that the White House values their work. (Federal News Radio)