NTEU Chapter 296
National Park Service
  • House Passes Six-Bill FY 2023 Appropriations Package - including Interior
    Jul 21, 2022

    SUMMARY:  The House passed a six-bill FY 2023 appropriations package which includes critical funding increases for many NTEU-represented agencies.

    Today, the House of Representative passed H.R. 8294, an appropriations package that included six FY 2023 spending bills.  The bill, which passed by a vote of 220-207 consisted of the following bills:  Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, and Related Agencies; Energy and Water Development, and Related Agencies; Financial Services and General Government; Interior, Environment, and Related Agencies; Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies; and Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development, and Related Agencies.  H.R. 8294 provides funding for a number of NTEU-represented agencies, including the IRS, the Treasury Department, SEC, FDA, Energy, NPS, and Agriculture, among others, and includes government-wide employee issues.  In the Senate, the Appropriations Committee will not formally consider any of their FY 2023 funding bills but will simply release the text of the bills by the end of the month.  We will provide an update once the text of the bills is released.

    In terms of specific agency funding, the funding package would provide the IRS with roughly $13.6 billion for FY 2023, an increase of more than $1 billion over the current level.  This includes an additional $630 million to improve and expand taxpayer services, and $682 million to strengthen taxpayer compliance and help close the tax gap.  The bill also provides the IRS with a much-needed increase in funding for business systems modernization (BSM) to continue upgrading its aging IT systems and continues language prohibiting the IRS from paying bonuses to employees or hiring former employees without considering conduct and compliance with federal tax law.  To help address the current backlog of tax returns and correspondence, the bill continues language providing the IRS with direct hire authority for positions to process backlogged tax returns and return information.

    The Bureau of Fiscal Service would also see an increase in funding for FY 2023 under the bill.  The agency would be provided with more than $372 million, an increase of $16.5 million over the current FY 2022 level.  This additional funding will support Fiscal Service’s central role in government-wide financial operations.

    H.R. 8294 provides 16.6 billion in total funding for the Department of the Interior (DOI), which is a $2 billion increase over FY 2022.  This includes $1.5 billion for the Bureau of Land


    Management for wildlife conservation, land preservation, and protection of endangered species.  H.R. 8294 funds the National Park Service at $3.6 billion, a $378 million increase above
    FY 2022.  Also included in the funding package was $11.5 billion for the Environmental Protection Agency and $48.2 billion for the Department of Energy. 

                NTEU is grateful that the House provided a needed increase of $341 million (10% above FY 2022) in budget authority for the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).  The FDA would receive a total of $3.645 billion in discretionary funding in the bill.  This is $3 million above the President’s request.  As you know, the FDA is only partially funded by appropriations.  The agency is also funded through several user fees, some of which expire at the end of the fiscal year.

    The bill would also provide $2.2 billion for the NTEU-represented Securities & Exchange Commission, an increase of $207 million, matching the President’s request.  At the Federal Communications Commission, the House bill provided the President’s request for a
    $8 million increase.  NTEU believes these increases are needed to further the agency’s important missions.

                Several amendments were offered to the bill to cut funding for specific agencies or across the board.  Representatives Rick Allen (R-GA), Glenn Grothman (R-WI), Kevin Hern (R-OK), Ralph Norman (R-SC), and Scott Perry (R-PA), offered amendments that would reduce funding for those agencies covered by the FSGG section of the bill, which includes the IRS, BFS, and SEC, by either 5 or 22 percent.  Those amendments failed, en bloc, by a vote of 199 to 229.

                Representative Hern and Representative Bob Good (R-VA) also offered an amendment to reduce funding for agencies under the Ag/FDA section of the bill by either 5 or 22 percent, which includes the NTEU-represented FDA and USDA.  Those amendments failed as well.

    With regard to government-wide workforce issues, the funding package remains silent on the issue of federal employee pay, thereby deferring to the President’s proposal.  As you know, the President has proposed a 4.6 percent pay increase for federal employees for 2023, but his budget request was silent as to whether any amount is allocated for locality pay.  According to the Federal Employee Pay Comparability Act of 1990, federal employees should receive a
    4.1 percent pay increase in 2023 before locality pay is added.  NTEU will continue to work with Congress and the administration in support for the FAIR Act (H.R. 6398/S. 3518), which provides an average 5.1 percent increase consisting of a 4.1 percent across-the-board increase and an average 1.0 percent for locality pay. 

    The bill also continues the ban on funding new outsourcing activities under Office of Management and Budget Circular A-76, which is important given recent renewed calls by some in Congress to outsource additional federal jobs.

    During consideration of the funding package, an amendment was offered by Representatives Chip Roy (R-TX) and Scott Perry (R-PA) that would have cut all funding for the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA).  As you know, the FLRA administers the Labor-Management relations program for approximately 2.1 million non-postal federal employees and, among other things, supervises union elections, adjudicates unfair labor practice complaints, and resolves questions concerning the negotiability of bargaining proposals.  The amendment, which was voted on en bloc with several other amendments, failed with a vote of 197 to 230.

                NTEU was pleased to see House approval of this legislation providing critical increases in funding for many NTEU-represented agencies.  Please be assured as Congress continues consideration of FY 2023 funding legislation, NTEU will continue to fight for a fair pay raise and adequate funding for all federal agencies.  I will update you on further developments.

                                                                                       

                                                                                        Anthony M. Reardon

                                              National President


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