|House Appropriations Subcommittee Releases FY 2022 Financial Services and General Government Funding Bill|
SUMMARY: The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government has released its FY 2022 spending bill which provides increased agency funding for several NTEU agencies and defers to the President’s proposal for a 2.7 percent pay increase for federal employees in 2022.
The House Appropriations Subcommittee on Financial Services and General Government, which determines funding for the IRS, the Treasury Department, SEC, and other NTEU-represented agencies and has jurisdiction over government-wide employee issues, has released its FY 2022 bill. The subcommittee is scheduled to vote on the bill tomorrow, and the House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to report the bill on Tuesday. The House plans to vote on all 12 funding bills before the August recess.
As you know, the President has proposed a 2.7 percent pay increase for federal employees for 2022 and the same amount for the military. However, the President has not announced how much of the increase would be allocated for locality pay but said that decision would be included in the President’s Alternative Pay Memo that is due before September 1. According to the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act, federal employees should receive a 2.2 percent pay increase in 2022 before locality pay is added. The subcommittee bill is silent on the amount of the pay increase, thus deferring to the President’s proposal of 2.7 percent. While NTEU has always supported the concept of pay parity with the military, we will continue to push Congress and the administration to support the FAIR Act (H.R. 392/ S. 561) and provide an average 3.2 percent increase for next year, consisting of an across-the-board increase of 2.2 percent and 1.0 percent for locality pay.
The legislation also continues the ban on funding new outsourcing activities under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76 and includes strong provisions to protect federal employee collective bargaining rights. Specifically, the bill would ban the use of funds to prevent employees from using official time for union activities, teleworking for telework deemed positions or when the health or safety of an employee is in question, or denying unions space in federal buildings. NTEU wholeheartedly supports these efforts, which recognizes the assault the previous administration carried out on collective bargaining rights and the lingering effects of those actions.
With regard to specific agency funding, the subcommittee would provide the IRS with $13.5 billion for FY 2022, which is consistent with the Biden Administration’s request, including $13.1 billion in base funding and an additional $417 million for enforcement via a program integrity cap adjustment. This funding would support a total of 81,902 FTEs, an increase of 8,493 over the FY 2021 Operating Plan. According to the bill, a total of $5.4 billion would be provided to support base IRS enforcement activities, an increase of $250 million above the current enacted level. Combined with the $417 million program integrity cap adjustment, this funding contemplates the addition of more than 2,500 FTEs would which allow the IRS to maximize taxpayer compliance, prevent tax evasion and reduce the deficit.
The legislation also provides a total of $2.9 billion for taxpayer services, an increase of $385 million from the FY 2021 enacted level, which would support an additional 4,258 FTEs allowing the IRS to increase the phone level of service to 75 percent, increase staffing and expand hours in Taxpayer Service Centers (TACs), and reduce the correspondence backlog. In addition, the bill continues language that would prohibit the IRS from paying bonuses or awards without taking into consideration an employee’s conduct and tax compliance. NTEU strongly supports the funding increase in this bill that would be another positive step in reversing the adverse impact of funding reductions in recent years which has strained the IRS’s capacity to carry out its important taxpayer services and enforcement missions.
The bill also includes a modest funding increase for SEC which NTEU believe will be adequate for its needs. However, SEC must use this increase to recruit and retain the workforce skill levels needed at the agency, as well as attracting a diverse workforce. SEC competes with high-paying Wall Street firms for the best and the brightest in their profession. The bill would also provide a $15 million increase in base funding above the FY2021 Operating Plan for the Bureau of Fiscal Service. In addition, other NTEU-represented agencies in the bill — Treasury Departmental Offices, Bureau of Engraving & Printing, Federal Communications Commission and the Federal Election Commission — would all receive adequate funding.
Please be assured as Congress continues consideration of FY 2022 funding legislation, NTEU will continue to fight for a fair pay raise and adequate funding for federal agencies. I will update you on further developments.