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Federal judges urge Congress to end sequestration

A few items that caught our attention on Friday:

(iStockphoto) (iStockphoto)

Judges urge Congress to end sequester: Top federal judges in 49 states have called on lawmakers to avoid the next round of automatic spending cuts, saying the reductions would have a “devastating and long-lasting impact” on the federal courts, according to an Associated Press report.

Calls for NSA reforms increase in wake of oversight revelations: Lawmakers and privacy advocates are calling for reforms and greater transparency with the National Security Agency in response to a Washington Post article that revealed the agency repeatedly violated privacy rules since Congress expanded NSA powers in 2008, according to a Post report.

The senator who considered blowing the whistle on the NSA: That would be Sen. Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), who claims he briefly considered exposing details of the NSA’s controversial surveillance program — the one Edward Snowden revealed to the public — on the Senate floor, according to an interview with Rolling Stone.

Edward Snowden denies claims by his father’s lawyer: A recent Wall Street Journal article quoted the attorney saying Snowden doesn’t trust journalist Glenn Greenwald and that the Guardian columnist was shopping around the rights to an possible interview with the former NSA contractor who unveiled details about a highly secretive surveillance program. Snowden said in a letter that individuals associated with his father have “misled” journalists into “printing false claims about my situation,” according to an exclusive Huffington Post report.

Using furloughs to make – “furlough-ade”: A number of federal employees facing unpaid leave under the sequester have decided to make the most of their situation, dedicating their time off toward service for others, according to a Federal News Radio report.

Welcome to post-policy Washington — or not: Libertarian journalist Peter Suderman recently pitched a theory that Capitol Hill’s legislative gridlock largely stems from Democrats and Republicans having achieved the goals they care about most. The Washington Post’s Ezra Klein rebutted that notion in his latest Wonkblog article.

Air Force sergeant claims he was fired for views on gays: The 19-year armed forces veteran says he was relieved of his duties at Lackland Air Force Base because of a dispute with his commanding officer over same-sex marriage, according to a Navy Times report.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, friend his Facebook page or e-mail josh.hicks@washpost.comFor more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics. E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.

Josh Hicks covers Maryland politics and government. He previously anchored the Post’s Federal Eye blog, focusing on federal accountability and workforce issues.



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