Thursday federal headlines – March 27, 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 users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • House Democrats are pushing for federal employees to get a 3.3 percent raise next year. President Obama has proposed one percent. Rep.Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Rep. Jim Moran (D-Va.) introduce the Federal Adjustment of Income Rates or FAIR Compensation Act. It would apply to employees in both the General Schedule and Wage Grade pay systems. Connolly says the federal workforce has been overworked, underpaid and unappreciated. He says the larger raise would begin to repair that. Federal employee unions have been urging a 3.3 percent raise. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Navy says the actions of the sailor killed at Naval Station Norfolk Monday night were nothing short of “heroic.” Twenty-four-year-old Petty Officer Second Class Mark Mayo died while protecting a colleague. The Navy says a truck driver with security credentials came on board the USS Mahan. He was able to disarm the sailor keeping watch. The service says Mayo “put himself between the gunman and the petty officer” and was fatally wounded. Mayo was born in Washington D.C. and grew up in Hagerstown, Md. (Navy/Associated Press)
  • When it comes to federal hiring, the Office of Personnel Management no longer has the pedal to the metal. Director Katherine Archuleta says agencies will still support an Obama administration push to speed up the process. And they’ll continue to report their average hiring times. But they’ll no longer have to report how many new hires take less than 80 days. OPM has stopped making annual governmentwide time-to-hire data readily available. The agency has made increasing manager satisfaction with the hiring process one of its priority goals for this year. The agency is also tracking applicant satisfaction with the process. One measure will be agency responsiveness, not just speed. (Federal News Radio)
  • Congress is starting to worry about misconduct at the Secret Service. Two senators say they’re concerned over the latest incident in which an agent assigned to protect President Obama while in the Netherlands was found passed-out-drunk in a hotel hallway. He and two other agents were sent home and put on leave. Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security Committee, says he’s troubled, and he’s asked the Secret Service for more information. Sen. Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa) says Secret Service Director Julia Pierson still has work to do. (Associated Press)
  • The Transportation Security Administration wants police stationed at airport checkpoints and ticket counters. But it does not want its own officers to carry guns. The recommendations are part of a report to Congress in response to last year’s shooting at Los Angeles International Airport. TSA reviewed nearly 450 airports nationwide. The review found most TSA officers worry about their safety and want better security. TSA now requires active-shooter training. Officer Gerardo Hernandez was killed in the shooting at LAX, becoming the first TSA officer killed in the line of duty.(TSA/Associated Press)
  • Sequestration, pay freezes and furloughs appear to have taken a toll on the 2013 Combined Federal Campaign. Donations fell 19 percent. Figures were compiled by the Workplace Giving Alliance from Office of Personnel Management reports. They show nationwide donations came in at $209 million in 2013, down from $258 million a year earlier. In the National Capital region, donations fell from $61 million to $51 million. (Workplace Giving Alliance)
  • The Peace Corps is stepping up efforts to diversify its volunteers, Acting Director Carrier Hessler-Radelet tells University of Michigan students. As part of this effort, the agency is putting a diversity expert in every regional recruitment office. The Peace Corps wants to double the number of applicants overall. To do so it is simplifying its application process. Hessler-Radelet says it should take candidates about an hour to apply rather than eight hours. The changes are part of a broad overhaul that includes new safety training and services for volunteers who become victims of crime. (Associated Press)
  • It could take years for the IRS to cough up all the documents part of its tax-exempt division that House Republicans want, IRS Chief John Koskinen warns members of a House oversight committee. He says the IRS already has provided more than 1 million pages of emails and other records related to the alleged targeting of conservative groups. Congress must wait while the agency strips any sensitive taxpayer information from the documents. Koskinen says the committee needs to pare down its request. That drew a frosty reply from Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.). He says Koskinen could be held in contempt of Congress for failing to comply. (Associated Press)