|House Passes Annual Defense Bill with NTEU Supported Provisions|
SUMMARY: The House passed the annual National Defense Authorization Act for 2023 and included provisions championed by NTEU that aim prevent a future Schedule F in the executive service and would allow federal law enforcement officers (LEOs) to purchase their retired handguns.
Today, the House passed H.R. 7900, the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) for Fiscal Year 2023. The bill authorizes funding levels and provides authorities for the U.S. military and other critical defense priorities, ensuring our troops and civilian defense personnel have the training, equipment, and resources they need to carry out their missions. The annual NDAA usually also includes provisions affecting the civilian workforce government wide.
During consideration of the bill, the House adopted an amendment endorsed by NTEU offered by Representatives Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) which would prevent the president from implementing a policy similar to the Schedule F Executive Order (EO) issued during the last administration. As you may recall, the October 2020 EO established a new category of excepted service employees, known as Schedule F, which, if fully implemented, could have affected tens of thousands of non-political career federal employees, stripping them of their civil service protections and allowing them to be hired and fired at will. This bipartisan amendment aims to prevent future attempts to undermine the civil service in this way by stopping any position in the competitive service from being reclassified to an excepted service schedule created after September 30, 2020 and limiting federal employee reclassifications to the five excepted service schedules in use prior to fiscal year 2021. The amendment passed by a vote of 215 to 201.
The House also approved an NTEU-endorsed amendment offered by Representatives Val Demings (D-FL), Jay Obernolte (R-CA), Andre Carson (D-IN), Trent Kelly (R-MS), and Don Bacon (R-NE) that would permit federal Law Enforcement Officers (LEOs) to purchase their retired service handgun from the federal agency that issued it at fair market value based on the age and condition of the weapon.
Since the passage of the 1994 Crime bill, when federal law enforcement agencies change from their current service weapons to another, the surplus service weapon must be destroyed. This bipartisan amendment would change that requirement to allow federal law enforcement officers to purchase their own retired service handgun under certain conditions when they are issued a new weapon. If this amendment becomes law, the federal government could recoup up to $8 million dollars when certified federal LEOs, who are trained, have carried the sidearm for years and are covered by the Law Enforcement Officers Safety Act, are authorized to purchase their former duty sidearm that would otherwise be destroyed. This amendment passed en bloc by a vote of 277-150.
NTEU will continue to push for these provisions when the NDAA comes before the Senate and as members of the House and Senate negotiate the final bill. I will update you on further developments.
Anthony M. Reardon