Pay and Benefits Watch: Legislative update

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Two weeks ago, Pay and Benefits Watch described the legislative process, using the Federal Reserve Board Retirement Portability Act as an example of a bill that had been passed by the House but was still awaiting Senate approval.

The column also noted that, many times, a bill affecting federal employees will be slipped into a larger, unrelated bill and passed by Congress. People tracking legislation have to keep their eyes peeled for such sleights of hand.

Well, it turns out the Federal Reserve Board measure, which allows board employees to take their retirement earnings with them when they switch agencies, made its way into another bill and was passed last year without fanfare. In December, President Clinton signed the Deceptive Mail Prevention and Enforcement Act (S. 335) into law. The law affects sweepstakes mailings-not a measure one would typically associate with retirement portability for Federal Reserve employees. But that's how the measure got through Congress.

Here is the latest look at other bills affecting federal employees that are pending before Congress.

Bill No. Purpose Most recent action
H.R. 28 Require all child care facilities for federal employees' children to be accredited and adhere to a set of safety, health and facility standards. Approved by House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 55 Allow any uninsured individual age 55 to 65 to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 82 Take the Civil Service Retirement and Disability Fund, federal employees' pension fund, off-budget. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 94 Repeal the statute that gives Members of Congress an automatic annual cost-of-living increase. Referred to House Administration.
H.R. 95 Prevent members of Congress from participating in the Federal Employees' Retirement System. Referred to House Administration.
H.R. 110 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 113 Allow more Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries to participate in a demonstration project permitting them to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service, Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
H.R. 205 Allow all Medicare-eligible military beneficiaries to enroll in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service, Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
H.R. 207 Treat federal physicans' comparability allowances as basic pay for retirement purposes. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 208 Allow new federal employees to roll over money from private-sector 401(k) accounts into Thrift Savings Plan accounts and allow them to immediately begin participating in the TSP. Passed by the House.
H.R. 246 Require the government to list Social Security and Medicare deductions on federal employees' pay checks. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 279 Require drug tests for new federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 416 Correct retirement errors for federal employees. Passed by the House.
H.R. 424 Change the mandatory retirement age for members of the Capitol Police from 57 to 60. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 460 Make the mandatory separation age for federal firefighters the same as the age that applies to federal law enforcement officers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 483 Lift the annual limit on Thrift Savings Plan contributions to an IRS limit-$10,000 this year. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 582 Improve overtime pay for federal managers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 583 A bill to provide Assistant United States Attorneys with the same retirement benefits as law enforcement officers. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 602 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 742 Eliminate the Windfall Elimination Provision. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 807 Make Federal Reserve employees' pensions portable to other federal agencies. Signed by President as part of S. 335.
H.R. 809 Improve the pay and benefits of Federal Protective Service police. Approved by House Subcommittee on Public Buildings.
H.R. 826 Give National Weather Service employees more overtime pay, but limit Sunday premium pay to work performed on Sundays. Referred to House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 860 Lessen the impact of the Windfall Elimination Provision. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 877 Treat the basic pay of members of Congress in the same manner as the basic pay of the most adversely affected federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 933 Ensure that coverage of bone mass measurements (for osteoporosis) is provided under the health benefits program for Federal employees Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 993 Allow agencies to spend 50 percent of their year-end surpluses on employee bonuses. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1000 FAA reauthorization: restores employees' MSPB appeals right. Conference held.
H.R. 1079 A bill to provide for equitable retirement for military reserve technicians who are covered under the Federal Employment Retirement System or the Civil Service Retirement System. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1111 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service, Subcommittee on Military Personnel.
H.R. 1170 Make available under the health benefits program for federal employees the option of obtaining coverage for self and children only. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1210 Provide for continued compensation for federal employees during shutdowns. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1216 Improve pay for Veterans Affairs nurses and other employees. Referred to the House Veterans Affairs Subcommittee on Health.
H.R. 1217 Lessen the impact of the Government Pension Offset on federal retirees. Referred to the House Ways and Means Committee.
H.R. 1228 Extend law enforcement retirement benefits to IRS collectors, customs inspectors and others. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1263 Require the government to list Social Security and Medicare deductions on federal employees' pay checks. Referred to the House Subcommittee on Civil Service.
H.R. 1513 Allow Federal employees to take advantage of the transportation fringe benefit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that are available to private sector employees. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1606 To make certain temporary federal service creditable for retirement purposes. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1769 A bill to eliminate certain inequities in the Civil Service Retirement System and the Federal Employees' Retirement System with respect to the computation of benefits for law enforcement officers, firefighters, air traffic controllers, nuclear materials couriers, and their survivors. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1770 Raise the cap on federal overtime pay. Referred to House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 1827 A bill authorizing up to $150,000 bonuses for federal employees who make "extraordinary contributions" to reducing waste and inefficiency. Brought to House floor.
H.R. 1833 Customs authorization: Reduces Customs officers' overtime pay Passed by the House, Senate.
H.R. 2096 Let federal employees add dependent parents to their health insurance. Referred to the House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 2321 To ensure that coverage under the health benefits program for Federal employees is provided for hearing aids and examinations. Referred to the House Civil Service Subcommittee.
H.R. 3185 Establishing a new method for fixing rates of basic pay for administrative appeals judges. Referred to the House Government Reform Committee.
H.R. 3573 To restore health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services. Referred to the House Government Reform, Armed Services Committees.
H.R. 3603 To expand Federal employee commuting options. Referred to the House Transportation Committee.
H.R. 3655 To improve the military health care system. Referred to several House Committees.
S. 57 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs International Security Subcommittee.
S. 102 Disclose the amount of federal retirement benefits due members of Congress. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs International Security Subcommittee.
S. 300 Sec. 504 of the bill would allow Medical Savings Accounts in the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 450 Authorize special pay for board-certified veterinarians in the Armed Forces and Public Health Service. Referred to Senate Armed Services Committee.
S. 650 Amend the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970 to provide for coverage under that act of employees of the federal government. Introduced March 17, 1999.
S. 717 Lessen the impact of the Government Pension Offset on federal retirees. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 718 Extend law enforcement retirement benefits to IRS collectors, customs inspectors and others. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 772 Protect pensions of federal employees who go part-time toward the end of their careers. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 851 Allow Federal employees to take advantage of the transportation fringe benefit provisions of the Internal Revenue Code that are available to private sector employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 865 Make danger pay for federal employees tax-free. Referred to the Senate Finance Committee.
S. 894 Make long-term care group insurance available to federal employees. Referred to the Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 912 Improve the pay of Border Patrol agents. Referred to the Senate Judiciary Committee.
S. 1232 A bill to correct retirement coverage errors for federal employees. Passed by Senate.
S. 1441 Eliminate a temporary increase in retirement payroll reductions. Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 1885 Increase overtime pay for federal managers. Referred to Senate Governmental Affairs Committee.
S. 2003 To enhance health care coverage to retired members of the uniformed services. Referred to Veterans Affairs Committee.
S. 2075 To expand Federal employee commuting options. Referred to the Senate Commerce Committee.
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