The average millionaire's federal taxes would increase $82,604 in calendar year 2015 under President Obama's proposed fiscal 2014 budget, according to the Tax Policy Center.
A bill introduced simultaneously in the House and Senate on April 22, would make the Office of Management and Budget set governmentwide customer service standards to improve response times for citizen requests and government services.
The government should set up a steering committee to reform how federal documents are classified, 31 public interest organizations wrote in a letter (.pdf) to President Obama. A presidentially-appointed steering committee would provide a mechanism for identifying and coordinating needed changes and for overcoming internal agency resistance to change, it adds.
The State Department's analysis was lacking because, among other problems, it didn't clearly address how oil sands crude can cause more damage than conventional oil, the EPA said in a letter to the State Department. The EPA said it learned after a 2010 spill in Michigan that oil sands crude requires a different level of response.
Government should enforce federal drug laws in states where marijuana is legal, White House drug official says
The federal government will continue to enforce federal laws even in states that have legalized marijuana use, but could make enforcement a low priority, National Drug Control Policy Director Gil Kerlikowske said at a National Press Club speech on April 17.
Federal agencies can now replace aging vehicles with new hybrid electric sedans, and the General Services Administration will fund the difference in cost, the agency announced April 22.
Lawmakers can make modest reforms to the Postal Service soon or be left with only severe options later, Postmaster General Patrick Donahoe said April 19. By the end of 2017, taxpayers might have to spend $58 billion to prop up the Postal Service as its debts accumulate, he said.
Federal Aviation Administration furloughs caused delays in flights nationwide Sunday, the FAA said. Furloughs started this week for about 47,000 agency employees, including nearly 15,000 air traffic controllers. "The FAA is implementing traffic management initiatives at airports and facilities around the country. Travelers can expect to see a wide range of delays that will change throughout the day depending on staffing and weather-related issues," FAA said in a statement.
Veterans Affairs disability claims backlog will still be eliminated by 2015 and an electronic claims system will be in every VA regional office by December 2013, Veterans Affairs Secretary Erik Shineski told a House Appropriations subcommittee during an April 18 hearing. Claims will be processed in 125 days or less with at least a 98 percent accuracy level, Shineski said.
The Defense Department understimates the costs of base closures, because outsourced work isn't accounted for in the department's reporting process, an April 18 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says.With the military likely to shrink in size in the coming post-drawdown years, Pentagon officials have said they want a new round of Base Realignment and Closure.
Agencies don't report cross-agency GPRA goals, but OMB doesn't explicitly require them, GAO report says
Agencies don't report how they work together to achieve shared goals, or goals that could use resources from other agencies, as required by the Government Performance and Results Modernization Act, because Office of Management and Budget rules for reporting don't make that requirement clear, an April 19 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says.
Defense Department officials are still deciding whether to furlough more than 700,000 civilian employees, DoD Comptroller Robert Hale said April 18 during a budget briefing. Meanwhile,the Air Force plans to layoff 1,000 civilians, according to an Air Force statement that says the reductions in force "are not related to the current sequestration actions."
Five months after Colorado and Washington state voted to legalize marijuana, the Justice Department still has yet to decide what to do in response, and Attorney General Eric Holder indicated April 18 that no decision was near.
New logistics programs to help manage Veterans Health Affairs medical supplies lack money and might not be implemented, an April 17 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says.VHA started several programs to help manage medical supplies, but the administration has yet to fully fund the programs or staff them properly, GAO finds.
Hiring freezes due sequestration backlogged maintenance and repairs at parks across the country and will cost the government money in the long run, National Parks Service Director Jonathan Jarvis said in an April 16 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. Many parks reduced maintenance and repairs, resulting in a backlog of maintenance, Jarvis said. Service-wide, the estimate of deferred maintenance needs is at $11.5 billion, Jarvis said.
The U.S. Postal Service needs to cut Saturday delivery, revise its employee healthcare plan and give more power to the board of governors to be financially sustainable, Postmaster General Patrick R. Donahoe said in an April 17 House Oversight and Government Reform Committee hearing. This comes just a week after USPS backed off its fight for a modified 5-day delivery schedule that was set to start in August and would save USPS $2 billion annually, Donahoe said.
Agencies will rely on partnerships to support the programs facing the largest cuts. International cooperation around physics, for example, has presented opportunities for saving money, said Director of the Office of Science and Technology Policy John Holdren, during an April 17 hearing of the House Science, Space and Technology Committee.
Officials should impose a moratorium on 12 judiciary courthouse projects until they are evaluated under new rules to make sure it's fiscally responsible to pursue them, an April 11 Government Accountability Office report (.pdf) says. Ten of the 12 courthouse construction projects do not qualify under project start rules, known as the Asset Management Plan, which requires courthouses to add a minmum of two courtrooms.