National Journal Online

GSA: Technology Key To Providing Better Service

General Services Administration chief Marth Johnson said Thursday that her agency will leverage technology solutions to better serve other federal agencies, Nextgov.com reported. GSA, which currently accounts for 13 percent of federal spending, could increase its sales if it were allowed to open its schedules to state and local jurisdictions or expand into new markets such as health information technology, Johnson said in a speech at FOSE, a government technology conference and security expo in Washington.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 10:51am

AFL-CIO Backs Patent Deal

The AFL-CIO has come out in support of a compromise version of patent overhaul legislation unveiled this month by Senate Judiciary Chairman Patrick Leahy and ranking member Jeff Sessions, CongressDaily reported. In a letter Thursday to Leahy and Sessions, the AFL-CIO said it has been concerned with proposals to overhaul the patent system that it said would have reduced damages for infringed patents, made changes to post-grant review procedures that would have undermined confidence in patent validity, and required the publication of pending patents.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 10:31am

FCC Spent $20 Million to Produce Broadband Plan

The FCC spent a whopping $20 million to produce its 360-page national broadband plan -- a price tag that amounts to about $50,000 per page. "It took [the agency] about a year, I think, to develop this plan, so in effect, it's $50,000 a day," mocked House Energy and Commerce Communications Subcommittee ranking member Cliff Stearns, R-Fla., who requested the cost figure in a recent letter to FCC Chairman Julius Genachowski. Stearns disclosed the tally during the panel's oversight hearing Thursday on the technology blueprint.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 10:28am

Google Urges Congress To Promote Free Expression Online

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Google Inc. told legislators that the U.S. government must support Internet freedoms, as Congress weighs bills that would deepen the government's role in advancing free expression on the Internet globally," the Wall Street Journal (subscription) reports. • In Britain, "Scotland Yard is advising administrators of public Web spaces to periodically poke through their customers' files and keep an eye out for suspicious activity," AP reports.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 10:00am

Lincoln Under 50 In Primary

Sen. Blanche Lincoln (D-AR) leads LG Bill Halter (D) in a primary matchup, but she's under the crucial 50% mark and Halter has room to grow, according to a new survey for the liberal DailyKos website.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 9:45am

Players Who Won In Health Care Debate

Top advocacy and lobbying stories from this week's National Journal: (subscription) "Who Won? How 25 Players Fared In The Health Care Debate:" Our cover story profiles 25 players including those in the interest group world including Karen Ignagni, head of America's Health Insurance Plans, Tom Donohue, head of the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, Howard Dean, the former Democratic candidate for president, Andy Stern, president of the Service Employees International Union and John Podesta, head of the Center for American Progress.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 9:00am

K Street Braces For Controversial Recess Appointment

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Business associations and unions are preparing for a possible recess appointment by the White House of a controversial nominee to the National Labor Relations Board," The Hill reports.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 8:59am

K Street Braces For Controversial Recess Appointment

From this morning's Earlybird: • "Business associations and unions are preparing for a possible recess appointment by the White House of a controversial nominee to the National Labor Relations Board," The Hill reports.

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 8:59am

Hotline After Dark -- Wake Me Up When November Ends

"World News" and "Evening News" each led with the latest Catholic Church sex abuse scandal. "Nightly News" led with the health care fight.

WH CoS Rahm Emanuel made the TV show rounds 3/25 p.m.

Emanuel, on whether it was a "mistake" to push and push to pass something: "No. No. I mean, the president, he set out a goal. ... He set out a goal and he went back to Iowa City, where he announced almost three years ago what he wanted to see in health care reform."

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 8:58am

Friday's Starting Lineup

Good Friday morning. Congress is on its way out of town, but while Hill reporters take a much-needed break, we're on alert for the first campaign swings of the year.

Here's today's Starting Lineup, previewing the people who will make news this weekend:

Posted: Friday, March 26, 2010 - 7:50am