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FMA Washington Report: September 12, 2022

This report provides an update on issues affecting federal managers. As always, I encourage you to visit www.fedmanagers.org on a regular basis for more information on these and other matters.

Also, be sure to look for the monthly FMA Grassroots Update, where we offer links to action letters and FMA-PAC matters we do not address in the Washington Report. The grassroots newsletter is sent exclusively to non-governmental email addresses to avoid any Hatch Act violations. If you are not receiving it, contact the national office to provide your non-governmental email address.

Please feel free to provide feedback any time by emailing Greg Stanford at gstanford@fedmanagers.org or by calling the National Office at (703) 683-8700. Thank you for your membership in FMA. It’s an honor to represent your interests before Congress and the administration.

FMA Working For You!
FMA Defends the IRS in Latest “Hear it from FMA” Column

FMA writes a monthly column, "Hear it from FMA," published on FEDmanager.com. This month's article, published on September 6, 2022, defends the Internal Revenue Service from unwarranted attacks as they try to simply do their jobs on behalf of all Americans.

It seems unlikely that anyone particularly “likes” paying taxes. Most Americans do, however, like health care, a strong military to protect and defend our interests, and Social Security – the three top budget items our federal tax dollars are spent on – not to mention the myriad other services Americans receive for their tax payments. The Internal Revenue Service (IRS) is regrettably no stranger to abuse from Capitol Hill, and the agency’s budget and staffing have declined for many years as a result. The negative rhetoric against the IRS from many elected leaders in DC has ramped up in recent weeks since the inclusion of $80 billion over ten years to help the agency enforce the nation’s tax laws. We’ve seen calls to defund or abolish the IRS, messages from a U.S. Senator imploring people to not accept IRS jobs, and even threats to IRS employees. This is misguided, dangerous, and unacceptable.

Legislative Outreach
Update on Fiscal Year 2023 Appropriations and Pay Raise for Federal Employees

Congress has not finalized any appropriations bills for Fiscal Year 2023. The current fiscal year ends on September 30. Congress is working on a continuing resolution (CR) that would avert a government shutdown and keep the government funded at current levels. While some have expressed interest in a CR that extends into 2023, the general expectation is a CR would run through December 16, 2022. Congress did not finalize FY 2022 appropriations until March of this year, more than five months into the fiscal year.

We are aware of some obstacles facing the CR. A “clean” CR would simply extend funding and allow lawmakers more time to agree to full funding. However, lawmakers may attempt to add additional provisions, such as an overhaul of federal permitting for energy products. Additionally, the Biden Administration is seeking $47.1 billion in emergency funds to be attached to the CR, including further funding related to Covid-19 and monkeypox relief, aid for Ukraine, and natural disaster relief aid.

Norton Bill Would Provide More Permanent Oversight of TSP

As many FMA members know, the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) experienced several challenges in its transition to a new recordkeeping system this summer. On August 30, Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC), who previously asked the Government Accountability Office to investigate the shortcomings TSP saw during the transition, introduced the Federal Retirement Thrift Investment Board Inspector General Act (H.R. 8763), which would establish an Inspector General office for the FRTIB.

In a statement upon introduction, Norton wrote, “I am deeply concerned about the widespread problems with the new TSP online system. I hear frequently from constituents about the many problems with the new system, including discrepancies in account balances, difficulties accessing accounts, lost beneficiary information, and hours-long wait times for customer service. I will continue to demand immediate fixes to the problems, but we need to understand how this debacle occurred and to create new accountability mechanisms at FRTIB, which is why I introduced my bill to establish an inspector general.”

New Top Leadership Coming to the House Oversight and Reform Committee

Representative Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the current Chair of the House Oversight and Reform Committee, lost her primary election battle against fellow Representative Jerry Nadler (D-NY) in August. The Oversight and Reform Committee has primary jurisdiction and oversight of federal manager issues in the House of Representatives.

What's Affecting Feds?
Limited Public Service Loan Forgiveness Waiver Through October 31

The Office of Personnel Management and Federal Student Aid asked FMA to share about temporary changes made to the Public Service Loan Forgiveness (PSLF) program, which can help you or your employees get their student loans forgiven. But you need to act quickly if you are interested -- the deadline to act and take advantage of this limited PSLF waiver is October 31, 2022.

You can learn more about the waiver here. In short, the waiver will allow borrowers to gain additional PSLF credit, even if they had been told previously that they had the wrong loan type or the wrong repayment plan:

Get Involved At These Events!
Region 1-2 Conference: October 7-9, 2022

The FMA Regions 1 & 2 Conference is quickly approaching, October 7-9, 2022, in Norfolk, Virginia. If you are able, please plan to join FMA colleagues from throughout Regions 1 and 2 for a great networking opportunity!

Registration materials will be available on the events page on FMA’s website in the coming days.

Region 3-4 Conference: November 11-12, 2022

The FMA Regions 3 & Conference will be conducted November 11-12, 2022, in Las Vegas, Nevada. The conference promises some excellent training, information sharing, and fun networking. We look forward to seeing you there!

Click here for agenda, registration, hotel reservations, and more.

Media Matters
The Challenges that All Managers Face – Old and New

FMA contributes a quarterly column to FEDForum, responding to different prompts about management and the federal workforce. Our most recent column was published on August 9, 2022, and the subject was “Back to Square One.”

In many ways, a federal employee who has been promoted to become a manager or supervisor is starting at square one. And at the beginning, you need all the help and support you can get.

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Why Join FMA?

The Association’s considerable influence stems from a team approach to advocacy. When lawmakers or agency decision-makers consider proposals that could adversely affect the management of the federal workforce, they quickly realize that TEAM FMA stands together to protect the interests of all its members.

Contact FMA

FMA National Office
  • 1641 Prince Street
  • Alexandria, VA 22314-2818
  • Phone: (703) 683-8700
  • Fax: (703) 683-8707
  • Email: info@fedmanagers.org