SBA requested less money to train small sized small businesses, but created programs to help medium sized small businesses grow their workforce, SBA Administrator Karen Mills said in a fiscal 2014 House Small Business Committee budget hearing of the Small Business Administration.
The FBI would be able to find out if a person was involuntarily committed to a mental health institution for purposes of running a gun purchase background check through the National Instant Criminal Background Check System if a rule being considered by the Health and Human Services Department is instituted.
The Federal Aviation Administration could not avoid sequestration-induced furloughs and the resulting flight delays from having fewer air traffic controllers, but passenger safety is not at risk, FAA Administrator Michael Huerta said during a House Appropriations subcommittee on transportation hearing April 24.
Cuts to employee health benefits and discretionary spending needed to reduce deficit, Simpson Bowles report says
Federal employee benefits, including health benefits and pensions, should be cut along with discretionary spending to help reduce the federal deficit, an April 19 report (.pdf) by former Sen. Alan Simpson (R-Wyo.) and Erskine Bowles says. The changes to employee pensions, cost of living adjustments and the federal health benefits program as well as proposed tax changes would save $2.5 trillion over the next ten years, the report says.
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.