Several bills making their way through Congress take aim at federal employees’ pay and benefits as a way to tighten the government’s budget belt. Feds already face a two-year pay freeze. A couple of the proposals would extend that freeze beyond 2012.
This page will be regularly updated. Check back for status changes and the addition of new bills. (Last updated on Dec. 15.)
Impact on feds
CUTS FEDERAL WORKFORCE BY 10 PERCENT
Cuts workforce through attrition to avoid defense spending cuts. Read full story.
Referred to House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy on May 13, 2011.
3-YEAR PAY FREEZE
– Extends the federal pay freeze for another year, through fiscal year 2013. This means your pay would remain at fiscal year 2010 levels through Sept. 30, 2013. – Cuts federal workforce by 10 percent no later than October 1, 2020.
Referred to Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on May 9, 2011.
Cuts spending by $500 billion in fiscal year 2011. Among the agencies that would see appropriations cuts under this bill are Defense, Homeland Security, Commerce, Health and Human Services, Energy, National Institutes of Health and more. Some programs would be entirely defunded, including the Government Printing Office, all Department of Education programs, except the Pell grant program, and all Department of Housing and Urban Development programs, except veteran housing programs.
Restricts the payout of annual adjustment and locality pay for civilian DoD employees performing “unsatisfactory work.” West says the bill would generate approximately $21 million in savings while increasing productivity in the workforce. “As employees become more satisfactory in future years, the savings would be approximately $80 million through FY16,” according to West’s website.
The bill ensures both active-duty and reserve military personnel are paid on time if there is a shutdown. A DoD memo states all military personnel would have to work without pay in a shutdown until Congress makes appropriations to pay military personnel for the time worked. Read full story.
Motion to Discharge Committee filed by Gohmert on July 14, 2011.
REDUCE DRUG COSTS
– Requires greater transparency over pharmacy benefit managers in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program (FEHBP). – Prohibits a drug carrier from paying a pharmacy benefit manager more than the average manufacturer’s price for any drug. Read full story.
Referred to House Committee on Ways and Means on Feb. 15, 2011.
CHANGES FEGLI PAYMENTS TO LUMP-SUM
Changes the default payments for the Federal Employees Life Insurance Program (FEGLI) to a lump-sum. The bill responds to concerns that the current payments to beneficiaries are put into accounts that are not federally insured. Read the full story.
Referred to the House Subcommittee on Federal Workforce, U.S. Postal Service, and Labor Policy on Feb. 8.
MORE FEDERAL PROTECTIVE SERVICE STAFF, TRAINING
Hires 150 more Federal Protective Service guards. Maintains a minimum of 1,200 FPS guards. Increases resources for training. Maintains assessment program for contracted FPS guards. Read the full story.
Clears Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee on May 18, 2011.
PROVIDES TRAINING FOR FEDERAL MANAGERS
Requires the head of each agency to establish a training program for supervisors. New supervisors must complete a training program within one year of appointment and supervisor must complete a program every three years. Read the full story.
Hearings held in committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on Sept. 6, 2011.
Ensures inherently governmental work is performed by federal employees. Encourages agencies to give feds opportunities for new work and certain types of outsourced work. More details here.
S.991/H.R.1949. Sen. Barbara A. Mikulski (D-Md.) and Rep. John Sarbanes (D-Md.)
Senate version referred to Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs on May 12, 2011. House version referred to Subcommittee on Technology, Information Policy, Intergovernmental Relations and Procurement Reform on June 20, 2011.
EXTENDS PROBATIONARY PERIOD TO 2 YEARS
Extends probationary period for new hires to at least two years. Two-year probationary period also applies to an employee who has been transferred, promoted, demoted, reassigned or appointed to a new position.
PREVENTS PEOPLE WHO OWE TAXES FROM BEING FEDERAL EMPLOYEE OR CONTRACTOR
Prohibits a person with “seriously delinquent tax debt” from being a federal employee or contractor. A “seriously delinquent tax debt” is an outstanding tax debt for which a notice of lien has been filed in public record, according to a release from the committee.
H.R.828 and S.376 Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah) and Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.)
House bill placed on the Union Calendar on June 23, 2011. Senate bill referred to Subcommittee on Oversight of Government Management, the Federal Workforce, and the District of Columbia on May 9, 2011.
SAFEGUARDS FOR GOVERNMENT CREDIT CARD PURCHASES
Requires each agency, except for DoD, to establish safeguards and internal controls for purchases by government credit cards and checks.
1House committee/subcommittee action: Ordered to be reported on Oct. 13, 2011.
REDUCES NUMBER OF APPOINTEES REQUIRING SENATE CONFIRMATION
Reduces by about 200 the number of executive branch positions that require approval through a vetting process that lawmakers from both political parties say take too long and deter well-qualified candidates from accepting appointments. Read the full story.
Current and former intelligence employees will lose their pensions if they leak classified information. Feds not in the intelligence community could also lose their pensions if convicted of espionage, treason, sabotage or conspiracy. Feds would still be able to retain contributions to a pension plan and the Thrift Savings Plan and social security benefits. Read the full story.