|SUMMARY: The Senate Republicans released the text of its proposal to further respond to the coronavirus pandemic.|
SUMMARY: The Senate Republicans released the text of its proposal to further respond to the coronavirus pandemic.
Last night, the Senate Republicans released the text of several bills collectively referred to as the Health, Economic Assistance, Liability and Schools Act, or HEALS Act, the most recent proposal to respond to the coronavirus pandemic. This proposal, which Senate leadership has said is a starting point for negotiations, includes a number of provisions that impact NTEU-represented agencies, including $1.6 billion in supplemental funding for CBP to make up for the loss of user fees due to reduced trade and travel during the pandemic and $2 billion in supplemental funding for the IRS for business systems modernization through FY 2025 and $320 million for FY 2020 for the IRS to carry out a second round of economic incentive payments and respond to the COVID pandemic.
As you know, in May the House passed their latest coronavirus relief bill, the HEROES Act, which included a number of pro-federal employee provisions, including provisions that would provide hazard/premium pay for public-facing workers at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, require maximum telework though the pandemic and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for COVID-19 treatment under FEHBP.
NTEU has also been urging Congress to include other provisions to support and protect federal employees in the next relief bill, including provisions to broaden weather and safety leave to cover childcare and other dependent care responsibilities resulting from the pandemic and to allow federal employees to carry over unused annual leave.
As congressional negotiations move forward, NTEU will continue to work with our allies on Capitol Hill to ensure final legislation includes necessary funding and provisions to support and protect federal employees through the pandemic.
Anthony M. Reardon