FMA APPLAUDS HOUSE PASSAGE OF FY 2019 NATIONAL DEFENSE AUTHORIZATION ACT - July 26, 2018
Alexandria, VA – The House of Representatives passed the bipartisan Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act conference report (H. Rept. 115-874) today by a vote of 359-54. The conference report provides a base budget of $639.1 billion and includes many provisions of importance to the Federal Managers Association (FMA). Chief among those is repeal of the long-term TDY per diem cuts instituted by the Department of Defense in November 2014. FMA National President Renee Johnson made the following comments on House passage of the conference report:
“In a time marked by far too much political bickering, FMA is heartened by the strong bipartisan vote in the House to pass this year’s NDAA. It is appropriately named after Sen. John S. McCain (R-AZ), a national hero who has served and sacrificed for America with exemplary distinction. The NDAA is a vital ‘must-pass’ bill that Congress has once again, for the 58th straight year, been able to complete cooperatively. We are grateful for bipartisan support of our nation’s uniformed military and the civilian federal workforce who work side-by-side with the warfighters to protect our country and its interests.
“We are proud the conference agreement prohibits the Department of Defense (DOD) from implementing its policy of cutting long-term TDY per diems based on the duration of the assignment. FMA has worked tirelessly on this issue as a primary legislative priority since the cuts were enacted in November 2014. For the past four years, the House Armed Services Committee included bipartisan language in the NDAA that would end DOD’s policy that penalized military travelers, both uniformed and civilian, by cutting their per diem by 25 percent for travel over 30 days and 45 percent for travel over 180 days. We offer special thanks to Reps. Derek Kilmer (D-WA), Colleen Hanabusa (D-HI), and Walter B. Jones (R-NC), and Sens. Mazie Hirono (D-HI), Mike Rounds (R-SD), and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) for their diligent and dogged leadership. This is a change that will immediately help thousands of feds.
“We are further pleased the final conference report includes provisions to expand DOD direct hire authority for college graduates and post-secondary students; commonsense change to personnel demo projects; flexibility in selecting candidates from referral lists; and, an extension of temporary authority to grant allowances, benefits and gratuities to civilian personnel on official duty in a combat zone.
“The bipartisan spirit behind the NDAA is a reminder of our country’s strength and what is possible when decision makers work together in good faith for the common good. While the final conference report does not contain every provision FMA supported, it is a strong compromise piece of legislation FMA supports. We are proud of the great work that went into this important bill and look forward to the Senate approving it.”