Thursday morning federal headlines – April 25, 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 Obama administration’s lead on performance management is leaving on May 3. Shelley Metzenbaum has been the associate director of performance and personnel management at OMB since 2009. The website and the increased role of Performance Improvement Officers governmentwide can be credited to her. She will be heading back to Boston where she served as the founding director of the Edward J. Collins Jr. Center for Public Management at the University of Massachusetts.(Federal News Radio)
  • Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid said he wants to roll back the sequester. He is sponsoring a bill to tap money intended for the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan saying it would give lawmakers more time to negotiate another way to cut the federal deficit. In trying to win over his colleagues, he said sequestration had forced the National Institutes of Health to delay or stop science projects adding that labs across the country have lost medical research grants. Sen. Tom Coburn, R-Okla., countered the White House should offer a replacement plan for sequestration. (Office of Harry Reid)
  • The Senate confirmed Sylvia Burwell as director of the Office of Management and Budget in a 96 to zero vote. President Obama said Burwell will continue efforts to replace the sequester. Burwell comes from the Wal-Mart Foundation. Previously, she was an executive with the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation. She has also worked at OMB during a very different economic time. She served as deputy budget director in the Clinton administration when the government had a surplus. (Federal News Radio)
  • Congress approved the Justice Department’s request to move money around to avoid staff furloughs. Rep. Frank Wolf, R-Va., chairs the House panel overseeing the department’s budget. He sayid DoJ had considered furloughing nearly 60,000 employees for as many as 14 days putting law enforcement, national security and criminal justice missions at risk. Wolf criticized the department for buying a prison in Illinois saying that those resources might have cushioned the blow. (Federal News Radio)
  • The White House and Congress seem headed to a compromise that could put furloughed FAA staff back to work. The Obama administration said on Wednesday, it was open to a fix even if it leaves other sequestration-related cuts in place. Furloughs of air traffic controllers began Sunday. The National Air Traffic Controllers Association said it has led to more than double the number of flight delays. For example, there were 5,800 delays between Sunday and Tuesday. White House spokesman Jay Carney cautioned that a bill to help the FAA would be a “Band-Aid measure.” (Federal News Radio)