Update on SEA’s Legislative and Policy Activities
With Congress now back in session through August recess, SEA is staying busy ensuring your voice is heard and felt on both ends of Pennsylvania Avenue. These efforts often manifest in public ways (letters, media) but sometimes are managed behind the scenes. The following is a roundup of the issues we’re focusing on and working to advance.
- Restoring a quorum and Senate-confirmed leadership to the Board is among our top priorities. Without a Board our members have lost the primary forum for enforcing their employment rights. The President has nominated a long-awaited third nominee for the Board and all three nominees should soon be considered in the Senate. SEA supports confirming all three nominees as expeditiously as possible.
- Working to secure a bipartisan MSPB reauthorization. - Advancing our SES joint policy agenda, in collaboration with the Partnership for Public Service and the Volcker Alliance.
- Volunteers are needed to help further flesh out and validate specific proposals being developed.
- National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA)
- SEA is analyzing governmentwide human capital proposals from the administration submitted for inclusion in the NDAA and will be weighing in with Congress. Several of the provisions address challenges with hiring and appointment authorities.
- SEA’s opinions have been sought on several aspects of the NDAA, including on the Space Force personnel system proposal and on eliminating DOD’s cooling off period before retired military can be reemployed as civilians
- Agency reorganization and workforce restructuring
- SEA is urging Congress to use the opportunity of the administration’s OPM-GSA merger proposal to more thoughtfully contemplate the optimal focus and construction for the two core management agencies. SEA concurs with many of the questions being asked for Congress about the plans and the need for more information.
- Executive reassignments and workforce restructuring initiatives, such as those at Interior, HHS, GSA, and others have brought SEA in contact with multiple committees in the House and Senate seeking to understand what is happening.
- Advancing the conversation on the need for comprehensive civil service reform, while recognizing large, long term changes will be difficult to enact in a divided Congress.
- The National Commission on Military, National and Public Service has been closely studying civil service issues and will have a set of public meetings in DC on May 15 and 16. SEA is developing formal written comments to submit to the Commission and there will be opportunities for members to also do so directly as individuals – more information to come.
- Fighting attempts by the Administration to reduce federal employee pay and benefits, including for retired federal employees. As we have done before, we will join federal employee organizations to defeat these proposals.
SEA cannot do this work alone. As constituents, you have a constitutional right to engage your elected representatives. Please let us know if you would like help setting up a meeting or to have SEA’s talking points on a specific issue. I also encourage members to sign up for the SEA Policy Task Force by emailing me at Jason.Briefel@seniorexecs.org to express interest.