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A bill approved by the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee last week would direct the Office of Management and Budget and Federal government agencies to promptly publish a laundry list of “guidance” communications that agencies issue and that constitute statements of “general applicability” but do not have the full force of law.






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President Trump signed legislation today that fully funds Federal government agencies and operations through Sept. 30 – putting an end to nearly two months of funding disruption and anxiety that included the 35-day partial shutdown of agencies and impacted about one quarter of the Federal civilian workforce.






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The White House said today that President Trump will sign funding legislation set to be approved by Congress, but at the same time also will declare a national emergency under which he will seek to access additional funding for wall construction on the U.S.-Mexico border.






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The bill expected to be approved by the House and Senate today to fully fund Federal government agencies through Sept. 30 provides $550 million for the Agriculture Department’s rural broadband loan and grant pilot program, which supports the creation of broadband infrastructure in rural parts of the U.S., according to a Democratic party summary of the Consolidated Appropriations Act.






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The issue of back-pay for contractors left high and dry by the 35-day partial government shutdown failed to make the cut in the Consolidated Appropriations Act legislation to be considered as soon as today by the House and Senate.






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Capitol Washington DC Federal

The Consolidated Appropriations Act–the bill negotiated by Democrats and Republicans in Congress that could fully fund several Federal agencies and avert another partial government shutdown–features a variety of funding for IT modernization projects at multiple agencies, according to the joint explanatory statement released with the bill:






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With the 2020 national election cycle on the horizon, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., convened a hearing Wednesday to examine the how the United States was working to secure its elections. The hearing, broken into two panels, heard from senior Federal election officials, as well as state and local election officials.






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Sen. John Thune, R-S.D., former chairman and current member of the Senate Commerce, Science, and Transportation Committee, said today at an event organized by Axios that he is working with Sen. Gary Peters, R-Mich., on an effort to reintroduce legislation in the Senate that would allow manufacturers to sell tens of thousands of autonomous vehicles each year in the U.S.






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voting, election, election security

With the 2020 national election cycle on the horizon, House Homeland Security Committee Chairman Bennie Thompson, D-Miss., convened a hearing Wednesday to examine the how the United States was working to secure its elections, and despite some partisan squabbling from members over the issue, a senior Homeland Security Department (DHS) official testified that election security is on the upswing.






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A group of three Democratic representatives from the Capital region sent a letter to the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) on Tuesday, asking for an update on back pay for Federal workers amid reports of discrepancies.






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Capitol Washington DC Federal

Sens. Amy Klobuchar, D-Minn., and John Thune, R-S.D., introduced new legislation Monday to address the cybersecurity workforce shortage plaguing the Federal government. The legislation, called the Cyber Security Exchange Act, would establish a public-private cybersecurity worker exchange program.






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Republican and Democratic legislators were expected to meet again today in an attempt to reach agreement on border security issues and avoid another partial Federal government shutdown, following news that negotiations by a House-Senate conference committee stalled on related immigration issues this weekend.






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Senior House and Senate leaders from both sides of the aisle expect members of a conference committee working on border security funding issues to reach an agreement soon on a funding package that will prevent another partial Federal government shutdown before funding for some agencies – including the Department of Homeland Security – runs out on Feb. 15.






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