Federal Drive Show Blog – September 30, 2013

This is the Federal Drive show blog. Here you can listen to our interviews, find more information about the guests on the show each day, as well as links to other stories and resources we discuss.

Today’s Interviews:


J. David Cox
American Federation of Government Employees

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Many federal employees are on pins and needles today, hoping that somehow Democrats and Republicans on Capitol Hill will pass a spending bill that averts a government shutdown. The American Federation of Government Employees says as much as 50 percent of its members may be furloughed tomorrow. The rest would be expected to work without pay. Union president J. David Cox has more.

Alex Maranghides
Manager of the Large Fire Labroatory
National Institute of Standards and Technology

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With the number of wildfires steadily increasing year by year, The National Institute of Standards and Technology is developing a tool to measure them. Think of the Richter scale for earthquakes. NIST researchers say a wildfire scale could inspire new building codes and fire-safety practices. Alex Maranghides manages the Large Fire Laboratory at NIST.

Shawn Moran
Vice President
National Border Patrol Council

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The border patrol is putting cameras on patrol-car dashboards and overhauling basic training. The moves come amid internal criticism that agents don’t understand current policies. The patrol is also contending with groups that accuse agents along the Mexican border of being too quick to use violent methods to counter immigrants who throw rocks at them. The labor union representing those agents says the changes could put them in harms’ way. Shawn Moran is vice president of the National Border Patrol Council.

Kevin Plexico
Vice President of Information Solutions

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No matter what happens on Capitol Hill, today is the last day of fiscal 2013. Members of Congress are already sniffing around to see if a federal buying binge took place during the traditional spend-it-or-lose-it season. Analysts are also crunching the numbers. Kevin Plexico is vice president of information solutions at Deltek. He says what the last quarter ended up looking like and offers some tips on what buying patterns could look like under a shutdown.

Jared Serbu
DoD Reporter
Federal News Radio

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If Congress fails to pass a continuing resolution by midnight, the Pentagon says about half of its civilian workforce would be placed on unpaid furlough. Federal News Radio’s Jared Serbu has more on the Defense Department’s current shutdown contingency plan.

Heard Tom and Emily talk about another story during the show, but don’t see it here? Check out our daily federal headlines for the latest news affecting the federal community.