A few items that caught our attention on Tuesday:
Top agency posts going to minorities: Assuming the Senate confirms a few more of President Obama’s nominees, minorities will have filled the top two positions simultaneously at three federal agencies during the current administration. The departments would include Homeland Security, Labor and Commerce (during Obama’s first term), according to an article by In the Loop columnist Al Kamen.
Pentagon officials say reducing Army would entail greater risks: With the Defense Department proposing to shrink the Army to its smallest size since 1940, top military officials say the move would diminish response capabilities and put troops at greater risk, according to a New York Times report.
Republicans in midst of ‘Stop Government Abuse Week’: The Republican-led House has planned votes on a dozen measures in coming days to increase government oversight and transparency with everything from the regulatory process to agency advertising, according to a Government Executive report.
Military health care is far from uniform: A new series of reports shows that the military needs to speed up unification of its approaches to health care, which lack common standards for dealing with many medical issues but represent one of the fastest-growing budget items, according to an article from Fine Print columnist Walter Pincus.
Do the feds or the states own disaster relief?: The Federal Emergency Management Agency and the governors who have to hold their states together amid natural disasters are trying to strike the right balance between federal and local responsibility when Mother Nature wreaks havoc, according to a Government Executive report.
EPA expects less inspections and enforcement through 2018: Tight budgets will curb the Environmental Protection Agency’s ability to perform its enforcement mission, with the agency’s draft strategic plan estimating the next four years will bring a reduction in inspections, water-pollution treatments and lawsuits, according to an Federal Times article.