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*** The State Department has established a program to help agency employees caught up in the House of Representatives impeachment inquiry concerning Ukraine affairs. News of the program came out during Nov. 20 hearings before the House Permanent Select Committee on Intelligence. David Hale, undersecretary of state for political affairs and the most senior member of the Foreign Service told the House panel about the program via the contents of a Nov. 18 letter from Brian Bulato, the undersecretary of state for management to Sen. Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), the ranking member of the Senate Foreign Relations Committee.

The letter described the program and also promised lawmakers that, "no employee has faced any adverse action by the department for testimony before Congress on this matter. The department will not discipline any department employee for appearing before Congress in response to a subpoena."

*** The Cybersecurity and Infrastructure Security Agency announced a new partnership with VotingWorks to develop an open-source election audit tool called Arlo. The tool is designed to simplify the process involved in conducting an election audit.

*** Forty-three Senate Democrats signed a letter on Nov. 21 urging Senate leaders from both parties to preserve language contained within the House-passed appropriations bill that blocks the adoption of collective bargaining agreements that aren't mutual and voluntary except in cases of binding arbitration. The push is designed as a counterweight to three executive orders that curtailed certain federal employee union benefits typically included in labor contracts.

Posted on Nov 22, 2019 at 2:10 AM


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