Friday federal headlines – April 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 users more information about the stories you hear on the air.

  • Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius resigned Thursday. Her resignation comes a week after the end of the first enrollment period for the Affordable Care Act. The President is expected to name Sylvia Mathews Burwell, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, to replace Sebelius. This move leaves OMB without a director again. Burwell had the post since April 2013. With the appointment of a new director, OMB will have had four directors in six years. It is not immediately clear who will replace Burwell, but there is some talent in the ranks. The current deputy director is Brian Deese, and senior Obama adviser Rob Nabors also is a former deputy director. (Associated Press)
  • House Republicans pass a version of a 2015 federal budget crafted by Budget Committee Chairman Paul Ryan. It would reduce future deficits by $5 trillion. The vote was largely partisan — no Democrat voted in favor. Ryan’s budget would trim the growth of Medicaid and other entitlement programs, including coverage under the Affordable Care Act. It would also raise the amount federal employees contribute to their pensions. The Democratic blueprint relies on tax hikes to reduce future deficits. (Associated Press)
  • Small agencies without an inspector general would get one, under a bill being drafted in the Senate. Sen. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) is concerned that $1 billion of federal spending gets by without oversight. Her bill would establish a centralized IG’s office to serve 41 small agencies, board and commissions. The 1978 Inspectors General Act covered cabinet departments and large agencies. IGs testifying at a hearing say they generally support McCaskill’s bill, but they worry whether the staff of a small agency IG office would be big enough for the workload it would face. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Digital Accountability and Transparency Act clears some final hurdles, with the Senate passing a tweaked version of the House bill on Thursday. The House is expected to approve the changes when they return from recess later this month. The DATA Act would establish governmentwide financial data standards and require the entire federal government to comply with the new standards. (Sunlight Foundation)
  • The two-star Air Force general fired last fall as commander of the nuclear missile corps will retire June 1. But he’ll be busted down to brigadier general. The loss of one star means his pension will be $18,000 a year lower than it would have been. Maj. Gen. Michael Carey was relieved of command because of alcohol-fueled misbehavior during a trip to Russia. He’d commanded the 20th Air Force, which oversees the country’s 450 Minuteman nuclear missiles. Since the incident, he’s had a desk job with no responsibility for nuclear missiles. A female member of his delegation to Russia lodged a complaint after the trip. She said Carey had been shouting in a hotel lobby about his mission to save the world. An investigation corroborated the complaint. His demotion was ordered by Air Force Secretary Deborah Lee James. (Associated Press)
  • More information from Russia might have helped prevent the Boston Marathon bombing, but it’s impossible to know for sure. Those are conclusions of a year- long investigation by the intelligence community inspector general. The report says Russia withheld information about the two brothers, who are the bombing suspects. One was killed in the manhunt following the bombing. The other is in custody awaiting trial. The Obama administration briefed Congress yesterday on the IG findings. The report examined how 17 intelligence agencies handled information it had prior to the April 15 attack. Three people were killed and more than 200 injured. (Associated Press)
  • Meet the 2014 Presidential Management Fellow Finalists. A total of 609 people were selected out of 7,000 applicants. Ninety-one of the finalists are earmarked for STEM appointments in science, technology engineering or math fields. Finalists have until April 20 of next year to accept and start a PMF appointment. The 2015 PMF applications will be accepted later this year in the Fall. (Presidential Management Fellows)