Democrats want Congress to end recess and prevent sequester. Congress is on break with only eight days left before the automatic spending cuts known as sequestration kick in. Some Democratic lawmakers are calling on Republican leaders to reconvene the House and find a way to avert the $85 billion worth of reductions, according to a Post Politics item by Ed O’Keefe.

Rep. Elijah Cummings backs federal employees in budget battles. Not much of a surprise there, considering Cummings is a Maryland Democrat who represents a district chock full of federal workers. But it’s worth taking a look at Federal Diary columnist Joe Davidson’s interview series with members of Congress in prime positions of power over Uncle Sam’s workforce.

White House may name new EPA secretary Wednesday.  A big promotion could be in the works for Gina McCarthy, the Environmental Protection Agency’s assistant administrator for air and radiation. She is thought to be the president’s pick to head the agency, according to an item by In the Loop’s Emily Heil.

Obama administration plans to get tougher on cyberstealing. The Obama administration is expected to announce more aggressive penalties on Wednesday for the theft of U.S. government data and corporate trade secrets, responding to evidence of cyberstealing campaign linked to the Chinese government. The measures could include possible fines and other trade actions against countries guilty of cyber-espionage, according to an AP article.

“Blazing new trails in judicial secrecy.” The first legal challenge to the Consumer Product Safety Commission’s database that allows consumers to report and learn about hazardous products has turned one case into a near-total mystery, according to an article from the watchdog reporters at Fair Warning.

For more federal news, visit The Federal Eye, The Fed Page and Post Politics.

To connect with Josh Hicks, follow his Twitter feed, subscribe to his Facebook page or e-mail

E-mail with news tips and other suggestions.