Tuesday Federal Headlines – February 11, 2014

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.

  • It’s the contract that won’t die. The Navy will extend the Navy-Marine Corps Intranet contract a few months longer, until September 30. It was supposed to expire in June, but its replacement is delayed. The Next Generation Enterprise Network was held up by protests from the losing bidders, Harris Corporation and CSC. The Navy awarded NGEN to Hewlett Packard last June. HP also holds the expiring NMCI contract awarded in 2000. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Office of Personnel Management has canceled its solicitation for a major training contract. The Customized Human Resources Solutions deal would have been worth $2 billion. OPM first asked for bids 15 months ago. The agency now says, through a FedBizOpps notice, that its requirements have changed. Eleven vendors protested terms of the solicitation last summer. (Federal News Radio)
  • You may not be invited to tonight’s White House state dinner in honor of French President Francois Hollande, but you can follow along with the White House chefs. They’ve taken over the White House Instagram account to post photos of kitchen prep. They’ve snapped shots of honey from the White House beehive, which will be used in a vinaigrette. Another photo shows them using a paint sprayer to cover a cake with a thin layer of chocolate. Hollande is the first foreign leader of Obama’s second term to be honored with a state dinner. (White House, Associated Press)
  • Customs and Border Protection’s fleet of unmanned aircraft has returned to the air. CBP grounded its nine Predator Bs last month out of safety concerns. A generator failure aboard the tenth machine forced operators to ditch it in the Pacific Ocean off the California coast. Federal Times Reports the remaining drones started flying again over the weekend. (Federal Times)
  • A Google subsidiary will renovate and run a NASA airfield in Northern California. The space agency and the General Services Administration picked Planetary Ventures to lease and manage Moffett Field. They are just four miles from Google’s Silicon Valley headquarters. As part of the deal, Google will repair the airfield’s three hangars on its own dime. That’s expected to top $40 million. Google also will upgrade a golf course next to the site. Company executives fly their personal aircraft from the field now. (San Jose Mercury News)
  • House Republican leaders are considering a plan to raise the debt ceiling and restore military pensions. Conservatives are skeptical but Democrats may go along. The bill would extend Treasury’s borrowing authority for at least another year. A vote is expected by tomorrow. Then, members return to their districts. The Senate favors repealing the military pension cuts. Whatever the final deal is it must pass by the end of the month. Treasury Secretary Jack Lew says the government won’t be able to pay its bills after that. (Associated Press)
  • The US Agency for International Development can help feed more people thanks to the new farm law. It lets the agency hand out cash to recipients so they can buy food. And it makes it easier for USAID to buy food locally rather than purchasing raw commodities here in the United States and shipping them abroad. Administrator Rajiv Shah says the change will help 800,000 more people. And it helps the agency stretch its limited resources a bit farther. The new flexibilities extend to only one-fifth of U.S. food aid money. The White House had proposed shifting nearly half of the funds to flexible accounts — a tough sell for farm-state members of Congress. (Associated Press)