Government affairs

Legislative Updates

MERIT Act companion bill introduced in Senate; passes out of House committee

On July 12, Sen. David Perdue (R-GA) introduced a companion bill to the Modern Employment Reform and Transformation (MERIT) Act as S. 3200. Like the House bill, it would make it easier for agencies to fire federal employees. It has been referred to the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs.

The measure was first introduced in the House by Rep. Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) and under it, agency heads who are political appointees would be granted authority to fire public servants based on the agency head’s determination of performance or misconduct.

The MERIT Act claims to provide due process to affected employees—in the form of written notice of personnel action and the opportunity to respond—but instead, severely diminishes an employee’s right to appeal, by forcing the Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) to make decisions within 30 days.

The House version (H.R.559) passed out of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform today in a party-line vote of 19-11.

NALC will continue to monitor both bills and keep it members aware of any movement.

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