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    Senate on track to approve health bill

    The Senate is on track to achieve one of President Obama's top priorities this year, a major overhaul of the country's healthcare system. The Senate is expected to hold a series of votes this week on the legislation, with final passage set for Christmas Eve unless Republicans relent and allow an early vote. Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., admitted Sunday on Fox ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Feds are left out of excise tax compromise

    Federal employee groups fear that they are being left out of a health care reform compromise forged by unions and lawmakers to alleviate the effects of a proposed excise tax on insurance plans. The deal, posted on the Web sites of the AFL-CIO and the National Education Association, would raise the premium threshold level at which a 40 percent tax kicks ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Sex Complaints Against Prison Workers Double

    WASHINGTON (AP) - Accusations of sexual abuse at the hands of federal prison workers doubled in the past eight years, according to a new government report released Thursday. Justice Department inspector general Glenn Fine found that claims made against Bureau of Prisons staff members increased dramatically from 2001 to 2008. Claims of sexual misconduct more than doubled, rising 130 percent in ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    Economy grows at 5.7 pct pace, fastest since 2003

    WASHINGTON (AP) - The economy grew for a second straight quarter from October through December, posting a 5.7 percent annual rate, the fastest pace since the third quarter of 2003. The Commerce Department report is the strongest evidence to date that the worst recession since the 1930s ended last year, though an academic panel that dates recessions has yet to officially ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Going Political: Who Takes Appointments and Why

    "When the Senior Executive Service began 30 years ago, all the assistant secretaries for administration in the government," said Carol Bonosaro, "were career executives. Over time, you will now find only two who are career executives and that's because of statute." Which is a real shame, according to the president of the Senior Executives Association. Bonosaro told the Federal Drive that ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Bye-bye to 'GS, And Other Trial Balloons From OPM's John Berry

    If the federal civil service had a flag, it would be flying upside down. The civil service is in distress -- not dead, but in need of rescue. Recognizing this, John Berry, the Office of Personnel Management director, ran some sweeping ideas up the flagpole on Monday to see who salutes. At the same time he heaped praise on the "unsung ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Hiring rate stalls for women in top federal government jobs

    Progress in promoting women to the top levels of the federal civil service has flowed like the mighty Mississippi River in the springtime. Wrong. Lately, it's been more like a leaky faucet in Uncle Sam's kitchen. While men and women are close to being equally represented in the lower grades of the federal workforce, "at the higher levels women are woefully ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Deputy Director Begins Work at OPM

    Deputy Director Begins Work at OPM
    More than five months after she was confirmed by the Senate as deputy director of the Office of Personnel Management, Christine Griffin this week begins her new post overseeing federal personnel issues. "I am very pleased to be able to work with Christine on important issues that directly affect the federal government and its workforce," OPM Director John Berry said in ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Border Fence Funds Pulled from Spending Bill

    Border Fence Funds Pulled from Spending Bill
    WASHINGTON — A provision to build an additional 300 miles of pedestrian fence along the U.S.-Mexico border has been stripped out of a $42.8 billion spending bill for the Department of Homeland Security. The provision by Sen. Jim DeMint, R-S.C., was removed at the behest of House members from Texas, Arizona and California who called the fencing a waste of taxpayer ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    Democrats Vow to Close Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'

    Democrats Vow to Close Medicare 'Doughnut Hole'
    WASHINGTON (AP) -- It's an annual ordeal for many seniors living on a budget. Medicare's coverage gap for prescription drugs - $3,610 next year - has steadily gotten bigger since the benefit's inception. But if Democrats have their way on health care overhaul, the dreaded "doughnut hole" will shrink by $500 right away and go away altogether by 2019. With ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    Proposal To End Federal Health Plan Is Off The Table

    Proposal To End Federal Health Plan Is Off The Table
    Civil servants are no longer in danger of being forced off the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program under the Senate Finance Committee's version of health care reform legislation. Sen. Charles Grassley, R-Iowa, agreed to scale back a proposal that would have required all federal employees to move from FEHBP to state-based health exchanges so it applied only to members of Congress ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    Legal Services Corporation Employees Vote to Unionize

    Lawyers and professional staff at a federal legal aid organization voted on Tuesday to form a union under the auspices of the International Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers. "We welcome the union as a new partner and look forward to working together to advance the mission of LSC to provide access to justice for all," Legal Services Corporation President Helaine ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    D.C. Mayor Uses Federal SUVs For Recreational Purposes

    WASHINGTON - D.C. Mayor Adrian Fenty's use of government resources to facilitate his recreational activities isn't limited to a police escort while he trains with his bike team. The mayor has used a federal Homeland Security vehicle to transport himself and his bike to at least 14 races in the past two years. The District's Homeland Security and Emergency Management Agency ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    States Look to Cheap Credit to Avoid Spending Cuts

    States Look to Cheap Credit to Avoid Spending Cuts
    State governments are rushing to borrow money to take advantage of cheap and plentiful credit at a time when tax collections are tumbling. Investors, lured by the safety of taxpayer-guaranteed debt, are lending states money at the lowest interest rates in decades. The borrowing has helped governments increase spending during the recession and avoid some painful spending cuts. Lower interest rates ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    OPM Defies Order on Same-Sex Benefits

    OPM Defies Order on Same-Sex Benefits
    With logic only a lawyer -- and perhaps only a government lawyer -- could love, the Obama administration is refusing to obey a federal judge's order that agrees with a position the administration supports. Last month, Alex Kozinski, chief judge of the U.S. Court of Appeals for the 9th Circuit, ordered the Office of Personnel Management to allow health insurance companies ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rated: +1
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    For Many in Forest Service, Benefits Kept Just Out of Reach

    When it comes to providing employee benefits, Uncle Sam strives to be a model employer. But there's rust on his halo. Take a look at thousands of Forest Service workers who get no health and retirement benefits, despite years of service to the federal government. They are temporary employees. It's not uncommon for temps to go without benefits, but these folks ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rated: +1
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    Economy loses 85K jobs, unemployment rate steady

    Economy loses 85K jobs, unemployment rate steady
    WASHINGTON -- The economy lost more jobs than expected in December while the unemployment rate held steady at 10 percent, as a sluggish economic recovery has yet to revive hiring among the nation's employers. The Labor Department said Friday that employers cut 85,000 jobs last month, worse than the 8,000 drop analysts expected. A sharp drop in the labor force, a ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rated: +1
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    U.S. Ag Dept Debuts New Online Learning Platform

    A leading government online learning program that serves as a model for job training programs in China soon will allow federal employees to use more social media tools for training. The Agriculture Department's program, AgLearn, is scheduled for an upgrade to a new version of its supporting software, allowing it to provide its employees with blogs and wikis related to their ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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    At Hearing on Future of Postal Service, No Lack of Despondency

    At Hearing on Future of Postal Service, No Lack of Despondency
    A congressional hearing on the future of the U.S. Postal Service can be one depressing experience. The sky outside the Rayburn House Office Building was bright Thursday morning, but it was all gloom and doom in Room 2154. Members of a Committee on Oversight and Government Reform panel explored novel ways the Postal Service might pull itself from deep debt -- ...
    Published over 8 years ago | Rate This
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    In Cali, a Community Rallies to Save School Sports

    DIXON, Calif. — For a while, it appeared budget cuts at Dixon High School would make it harder for athletes Jeffery Anderson and Kayla Beal to impress college recruiters. Faced with a $3 million budget shortfall, the school system 20 miles southwest of Sacramento decided in February to discontinue all sports at the town's middle and high schools for the 2009-10 ...
    Published almost 9 years ago | Rate This
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