The VA announced that it will test a paperless system to improve the processing of veterans' disability claims in its regional benefits office in Providence, R.I.
VA and HUD announced a program to provide $15 million to five selected communities near military bases for housing assistance and prevention of homelessness.
The Pentagon's newly released 2010 Quadrennial Review highlights cyberspace as a key point of vulnerability that could be exploited by America's adversaries and calls for increased centralization of USCYBERCOM, to coordinate defense operations in cyberspace. This agency, created in June 2009, is a subdivision of U.S. Strategic Command and will now have increased support from its other branches.
"Although it is a manmade domain, cyberspace is now as relevant a domain for DoD activities as the naturally occurring domains of land, sea, air, and space," the report reads. "DoD needs to collaborate with other U.S. departments and agencies and international partners both to support their efforts and to ensure our ability to operate in cyberspace. This mutual assistance includes information sharing, support for law enforcement, defense support to civil authorities, and homeland defense."
Obama signed the Veterans Health Care Budget Reform and Transparency Act of 2009. The law will give the VA timely, predictable health care funding each year.
The credit was included in the final version of the stimulus signed by Obama.
Secretary Vilsack announced $449 million in loan guarantees to 128 rural businesses through funding made available by the American Recovery and Reinvestment Act.
"We can revitalize rural communities and spur economic opportunity by building infrastructure to strengthen local food systems and creating a stronger link between local food production and local consumption," said Vilsack.
"Spending on civilian governance and development programs has doubled under the Obama administration, to $200 million a month," the Washington Post reports. But Ambassador Karl W. Eikenberry called for $2.5 billion more next year, "about 60 percent more than the amount President Obama has requested from Congress."
Obama inked the Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act, increasing the number of AmeriCorps volunteers from about 75,000 to 250,000 by fiscal 2017 and increasing education subsidies for those who serve.
In his FY 2011 budget outline, Obama laid out a new system of automatic pensions and proposed to revamp 401(k) plans to facilitate automatic enrollment and increased saving over time.
"The White House has granted a special ethics waiver to allow President Obama’s top counterterrorism adviser [to] conduct the review of the intelligence and screening breakdown that preceded the failed Christmas Day bombing of an American passenger jet over Detroit," the New York Times reports.
John Brennan, "a former longtime C.I.A. officer needed the ethics waiver because for more than three years prior to his current post he was chief executive officer of The Analysis Corp., or T.A.C., an intelligence firm that provides services to the government."