Browsing: Tom Carper

Cobert's confirmation for OMB job applauded

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Beth Cobert’s arrival at the Office of Management and Budget is getting a particularly warm welcome from Steve VanRoekel, the federal chief information officer. In a Twitter message this afternoon, VanRoekel hailed Cobert ‘s confirmation as OMB’s deputy director for management, noting that he can now go back to being “full-time US CIO!” Cobert, who comes from consulting firm McKinsey & Co., was sworn in today, five days after winning Senate confirmation. She replaces Jeff Zients, who stepped down at the end of April; on top of his day job, VanRoekel had been filling in as deputy management director since…

The Postal Service (yawn) defaults again

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If a smidgen of suspense lingered earlier today about whether much of the government would shut down tomorrow, there was never the slightest doubt that the U.S. Postal Service would skip a legally required retiree health care payment for the third straight year. Pretty much ever since the Postal Service defaulted on the 2012 payment, USPS leaders have been warning they would miss the $5.6 billion obligation due by midnight tonight; in another 15 minutes or so, the agency will officially be in default. Unlike past years, however, when an anxious Congress either cut the amount of the annual installment or pushed back the deadline, this year’s…

Werfel missed at Senate hearing

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Danny Werfel is just starting his new gig as acting IRS chief, but leaders of a Senate oversight committee are already wishing he were back in his old post as controller of the Office of Management and Budget. Werfel “has demonstrated integrity in everything he’s done in the federal government,” Sen. Tom Coburn of Oklahoma, the top Republican on the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, said at a hearing today. “My hope is that he’s  there for a short period of time and back where we can use him in a better way.” “He really has a base of…

Postal board faces tough decision on five-day mail delivery

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The U.S. Postal Service’s board of governors is set to meet tomorrow, according to a spokesman, and a thorny choice will likely dominate the agenda: Let Postmaster General Pat Donahoe proceed with a previously announced plan to end Saturday mail delivery this August, with a projected savings of $2 billion annually. Or back off—at least for now—to avoid a probable lawsuit, not to mention antagonizing members of Congress whose help is needed to pass any long-haul fix for the Postal Service’s finances. Among some observers, the betting is that the board will opt for door number two. “That’s the strong…

Carper urges curbs on Postal Regulatory Commission travel

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Some seven months after inquiring about overseas travel by Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway, Sen. Tom Carper is pressing some recommended changes for the commission as a whole. So far, it’s not clear whether the five-member oversight panel will go along. In a Sept. 6 letter to Goldway, Carper questioned “the amount of time and resources devoted to international travel in recent years, particularly as the commission has struggled at times to fulfill its higher-priority statutory responsibilities in a timely manner.” He urged the PRC to limit such trips to what is “truly necessary” to fulfill its legal role…

Postal bill stalls in the Senate

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The Senate took a surprise first vote on postal legislation today. The result: Lawmakers probably won’t be trying again before mid-April. The bill is the 21st Century Postal Reform Act (S.1789); the vote, which came this afternoon, was on a procedural “cloture” motion to see if supporters could muster the 60 votes needed to move forward with debate. As it turned out, they couldn’t. The motion picked up only 51 votes, with most Democrats voting in favor and most Republicans opposed. The Senate hadn’t been expected to take up the bi-partisan bill until tomorrow at the earliest. Why lawmakers proceeded today was the subject…

Senate could take up postal bill next week

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The wind-up has taken a while, but the full Senate might–just might–pitch into a major debate on postal issues next week. Earlier today, Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid, D-Nev., introduced a motion that would allow senators to take up the bill, known as the 21st Century Postal Service Act, as early as Monday. Although everything in the Senate (and we mean everything) is subject to change, Reid presumably wouldn’t have proceeded without some chance of having the votes to kick off debate. At the same time, it’s worth noting that Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell, R-Ky., isn’t commenting. Lawmakers could also have…

Sen. Carper presses the Postal Regulatory Commission for faster delivery

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Sen. Tom Carper is not happy with the Postal Regulatory Commission. More evidence of that fact emerged during yesterday’s confirmation hearing for Tony Hammond, nominated for another term on the five-member oversight body. The session before the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee lasted less than an hour; Hammond, a Missouri Republican who has served on the commission for most of the last decade, is likely to win easy Senate approval for another six-year stint. But Carper, D-Del., took the occasion to ask again why the agency can’t move faster in issuing advisory opinions on proposed changes to national…

Amid scrutiny of her travel, Postal Regulatory Commission chief bound for Switzerland

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Barely two weeks after a prominent senator questioned her travel activities, Postal Regulatory Commission Chairman Ruth Goldway is unapologetically heading overseas. “I know that travel raises questions,” Goldway said in a Friday interview two days before embarking on a 13-day trip to Switzerland,  “but I really feel that I’m doing an honest job and the right thing for the Postal Regulatory Commission and the country.” After leaving on a flight from Washington this Sunday, Goldway will spend most of the next two weeks in the Swiss capital of Bern, according to an itinerary provided by the commission.  The first leg, running from Monday…

Postal Regulatory Commission chairman responds (very publicly) to travel questions

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Postal Regulatory Commission Ruth Goldway has replied to a senator’s inquiry about her travel practices, publicly posting her response and a host of supporting documents on the agency’s web site. In a letter last week to Sen. Tom Carper, D-Del., Goldway attached a summary of her trips since becoming PRC chair in August 2009, and for good measure included itineraries and agendas, a synopsis of the commission’s travel policies and a listing of travel by her two immediate predecessors as chairman. “This information demonstrates that commission travel is in support of statutory obligations, performed in a cost-efficient manner and benefits…

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