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Federal Managers Association

Washington Report

  • On Friday, December 18, both the House of Representatives and the U.S. Senate passed an omnibus spending deal (H.R. 2029) that funds the federal government through the end of Fiscal Year 2016. The $1.1 trillion measure includes several provisions that the Federal Managers Association (FMA) strongly supports and allows for President Obama's 1.3 percent increase to federal employee salaries.

    In a press release following House passage of the bill, FMA National President Patricia Niehaus commented, “The omnibus spending deal the House approved is not perfect, by any means, but I am happy with several major aspects, and I am grateful that it does not include any of the most egregious proposals that have unfairly targeted federal employees in recent years. With the allowance of the pay increase, and extended protections for victims of the data breach, as well as the absence of harmful proposals suggested in recent budget resolutions, we appreciate that the Congress has finally put together a long-term plan to remove uncertainty and fund the remainder of Fiscal Year 2016.”

    The funding bill also provides for ten years of identity theft protection for the millions of victims affected by the data breaches at the Office of Personnel Management. President Niehaus noted “while this falls short of the lifetime protections FMA has called for, it is certainly better than the three years currently approved.” FMA will continue to advocate for the RECOVER Act, legislation introduced in both the House and Senate that would provide lifetime coverage. Niehaus also touted the provision in the measure that raises the public transit benefit to $255 per month, restoring it to the level of the parking benefit.

    Niehaus expressed frustration that approval of the spending bill came more than two and a half months after the start of Fiscal Year 2016 and urged Congress to work in a more timely fashion. “Budget uncertainty forces managers and supervisors to focus more on short-term operations and less on their core missions, impeding efficiency and ultimately costing the government and American taxpayers more money in the long run,” she noted. “The reliance on continuing resolutions inhibits agencies' abilities to anticipate funding levels and allocate resources in an effective fashion to boost productivity and the delivery of services. Providing agencies with timely and adequate budgets is the only course of action to prevent these avoidable challenges.”

    To read more about H.R. 2029, please visit www.congress.gov.


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