October 21, 2021

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Mortgage News

New evidence shows extent of ‘Mar-a-Lago Trio’ involvement with VA modernization efforts

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  • The continuation resolution passed in the House of Representatives failed because of party lines in the Senate. The ongoing resolution would have kept the agencies running until December 3rd. It also included a temporary suspension of the debt ceiling, which Republicans do not support. Senate Majority Leader Chuck Schumer (DN.Y.) says Democrats will try again this week to pass some sort of stopgap solution. At least 36 agencies have updated their shutdown contingency plans as the 11:59 p.m. Thursday deadline draws closer. (Federal news network)
  • Have federal employees Savings plan Loan options in the event of a government shutdown. TSP participants who are on leave during a lack of funds or who are considered to be released employees who continue to work unpaid can apply for a loan at any time. Employees will qualify for TSP loans as long as they have no outstanding general loan balance in the past 60 days, have no taxable loan distribution in the past year, and have at least $ 1,000 in contributions and income in their account. The Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board made changes to simplify the loan process for federal agencies after the record-long closures of 2018-2019.
  • Legislators want to ensure that authorities rehearse their approach to responding to a major cyber attack. The House Defense Clearance Bill would become a National Cyber ​​Exercise Program to assess the country’s cyber incident response plan. The agency for cybersecurity and infrastructure security would be responsible for the implementation of the exercises. The program would simulate what would happen if a cyber attack destroyed a government network or a network of critical infrastructure. The House of Representatives passed the Defense Bill last week while the entire Senate has yet to take the measure.
  • Two Senate MPs target the 112 new examples of fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in the federal government that GAO identified in its 11th annual report earlier this year. Senators Maggie Hassan (DN.H.) and Rand Paul (R-Ky.) Presented the Acting on the basis of the Annual Reproduction Reports Act of 2021 Make changes to eight programs that could save the government hundreds of millions of dollars. A provision in the bill requires GAO to investigate whether the Government National Mortgage Association is over-reliant on contractor workers. Another provision would require the Treasury Department to review potential changes in the metallic composition of coins to determine potential cost savings.
  • The military sees the deadly COVID-19 trend continue in its troops. In just two months it will be Ministry of Defense The number of service member deaths related to the coronavirus doubled. The number is now 52. All those who died from the disease were not fully vaccinated. The Pentagon is now ordering that all service members get their shots. Members of the aerospace forces must have their vaccinations completed by November, and soldiers by mid-December.
  • Troops living in 56 areas across the country may be able to get more money from the government. The Pentagon says because house prices are rising so rapidly this year it will give some troops a temporary increase in the basic housing allowance. BAH is a monthly grant that helps service members pay house expenses. However, the Department of Defense noted that its 2021 subsidy on rents and mortgages in some areas is not competitive enough. The temporary increase lasts from October until the end of the year. Some of the fastest growing areas include Twenty Nine Palms in California; Boise, Idaho and cities in the Southwest. Troops will be emailed when they are eligible for the increase. (Federal news network)
  • the Veterans Affairs Department makes changes to the eligibility rules for those discharged under a dishonorable status. Most dishonorable discharge veterans are currently unable to receive VA benefits. More veterans would be entitled to benefits under changed regulations that would change the nature of the VA’s discharge process. VA posted a request for information to receive feedback to help shape the proposed changes. VA will host two virtual listening sessions next week for additional information and comments on the proposed rule are due by October 12th.
  • House Democrats have new documents showing the extent to which three former President Trump staff members have developed their own agenda to reshape the Department of Veterans Affairs. The group was known as the Mar-a-Lago Trio. documents show saw the trio as an advisory body to the president. They held meetings on behalf of the government with Apple, Johnson and Johnson, and CVS Health. The group pushed for an Apple platform to monetize veterans medical records and a proposal for CVS Minute Clinics to provide health services to veterans.
  • the Department of Homeland Security distributes money to innovators with good ideas on how to combat climate change. The DHS Science and Technology Directorate and the Federal Emergency Management Agency are accepting proposals for the Cooling Solutions Challenge by December 7th. They want ideas on how people can be better protected from heat-related illnesses or deaths in the event of extreme heat events or other disasters. The Challenge is the start of a new series of competitions aimed at building the nation’s resilience to climate change.
  • The Homeland Security Department wins a protest against its FirstSource III request, but it’s not quite out of the woods just yet. the Government Accountability Office chose DHS in one of several protests against its $ 10 billion small business IT hardware contract called FirstSource III. KPaul ​​Properties filed a complaint about the requirement in the tender to have ISO 9001 and / or ISO certification for open standards from trusted technology providers, calling this overly restrictive. GAO rejected the protest, saying that not only did the industry have time to comment, but the requirement was also not restrictive. GAO says that of the 637 suggestions from 325 vendors that DHS received, only five vendors failed to submit at least one of the certifications. The DHS is still facing two more protests filed in early August.
  • The Department of Justice Inspector General’s Office is hiring a Chief Diversity Officer as part of the Biden government’s focus on equity and inclusion in government. The Chief Diversity Officer will head the Diversity and Inclusion Committee of the IG office and train OIG employees to recognize and avoid prejudice in the workplace. The new hire is also expected to review employee data and identify potential barriers to diversity. DOJ OIG accepts applications until the end of September.
  • The State Department is trying to retrain its workforce as part of its new data strategy. State is updating job descriptions to reflect the expected data skills and will be creating a new set of data science positions as part of its Enterprise Data Strategy. The strategy highlights data as the foundation for the division’s increased focus on AI, 5G and cybersecurity as part of its diplomatic mission. The Department’s Enterprise Data Council will implement the strategy and report to the Deputy Secretary of State for Management and Resources. (Federal news network)