Workforce

Senators’ latest telework legislation could imperil remote work

A new bill from Sens. Mitt Romney, R-Utah, and Joe Manchin, D-W.Va., would cap all telework at 40% of an employee’s work hours, potentially endangering the federal government’s nascent remote work program.

News

‘It’s up to Mike Johnson’: Marjorie Taylor Greene again stalls vote on ousting the House speaker

Any vote to remove Johnson is likely to fail, since House Democratic leaders announced last month they would support keeping him as speaker.

Pay & Benefits

A CBO report raises new questions about Biden’s 2% pay raise plan

Analysis favored by conservatives shows that when comparing workers’ “total compensation,” the private sector has nearly caught up to the federal government’s pay and benefits package for employees.

Defense

If a national security agency head becomes medically incapacitated, a House-passed bill would require notifications

The measure is a legislative response to Defense Secretary Lloyd Austin not telling the White House that he was hospitalized earlier this year.

Tech

With only three weeks to go, lawmakers weigh ways to save federal internet subsidy

Congress is exploring several options to fund it. All face long odds of success despite widespread and bipartisan support for the Affordable Connectivity Program.

Tech

Federal broadband subsidy cut amid fears over its future

The Affordable Connectivity Program will pay some households just $14 in May, down from $30. Unless Congress acts on a $7 billion extension bill, it will run out of money at the end of the month, plunging some families, supporters warn, into “digital darkness.”

Workforce

OMB leader defends administration’s approach to telework

House Republicans continued to demand better data from the Biden administration regarding the prevalence and effectiveness of telework at federal agencies.

Oversight

New bill would establish an IG for the Supreme Court 

The Judicial Ethics Enforcement Act calls for a new inspector general’s office to investigate alleged misconduct and prevent waste, fraud and abuse across the judicial branch.

Pay & Benefits

Congressional Dems urge OPM to fully cover IVF in feds’ insurance program

More than 175 Democratic lawmakers said the federal government must do more to protect access to health services like in-vitro fertilization in light of a recent Alabama court ruling that effectively banned the procedure alongside abortion services.

Workforce

New bill would create federal grant program for digital upskilling

The proposed Digital Skills for Today’s Workforce Act would add digital skills training to grant programs that provide education and professional development services in an effort to boost the talent pipeline.

Oversight

Senate rejects impeachment articles against DHS Secretary Mayorkas

In a 51-49 vote along party lines, Senate Democrats dismissed impeachment charges Wednesday against Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas for not meeting the threshold of high crimes and misdemeanors.

Management

Texas Republicans urge Senate Democrats to give the DHS secretary a full impeachment trial

The House voted to impeach Alejandro Mayorkas on Feb. 13 over charges of refusing to enforce the law and “breach of public trust.”

Pay & Benefits

VA is trimming its PACT Act claims backlog, but enrollees may be on the ‘low side’

Veterans Affairs Secretary Denis McDonough says that the department is quickly processing new claims made by veterans exposed to toxic substances during their military service, thanks, in part, to robust hiring, but warns that those claims may not have hit their peak yet. 

Pay & Benefits

Bill wants to solve the coverage gap for National Guard and reservists by extending VA eligibility

Legislation from Rep. Joe Neguse, D-Colo., proposes to expand VA health care benefits to personnel in the reserve components when not on active duty to help ensure “force readiness.”

Management

Senate Republicans push for Mayorkas impeachment trial

Democrats say the charges are based on policy disputes rather than the “high crimes and misdemeanors” threshold of an impeachable offense.

Management

House advances spy power reauthorization bill without warrant measure

The bill — which represents a win for Biden administration policy objectives — will now be taken up in the Senate, with a week to go before the authority sunsets.

Management

Skills-based hiring for contractors advances in the House

The Allowing Contractors to Choose Employees for Select Skills Act would remove degree requirements from federal contract work in some instances.

Updated Pay & Benefits

House panel advances bills to improve FEHBP oversight and fix CBP retirement snafu

A 2022 Government Accountability Office report estimated that ineligible family members covered through the federal government’s employer-sponsored health care program could cost the government between $250 million and $3 billion per year.

Management

Maryland delegation to launch bipartisan push for funds to rebuild collapsed Baltimore bridge

A pending bill would allow the state to avoid incurring 10% of the costs of rebuilding the Francis Scott Key Bridge.

Management

Senate action on DHS chief impeachment coming this week

With the slim majority Democrats have in the Senate, it’s likely the two articles of impeachment go nowhere and Homeland Security Secretary Alejandro Mayorkas remains in his role.