House and Senate Appropriations Committees Approve Starkly Different FY 2024 Financial Services and General Government Funding Bills
SUMMARY: The House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved their respective FY 2024 Financial Services and General Government appropriations bills, which funds several NTEU agencies. Although the funding levels for agencies are vastly different under the bills, they both follow the President’s proposal for an average 5.2 percent pay increase for federal employees in 2024.
Yesterday, both the House and Senate Appropriations Committees approved their respective Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) appropriations bills, which determines funding for Treasury Department, including the IRS, SEC, and other NTEU-represented agencies and has jurisdiction over government-wide employee issues. While the Senate FSGG bill passed with unanimous bipartisan support, the House FSGG bill passed in a party line vote after Democrats on the committee opposed the bill due to, among other things, the significant funding cuts included in the bill that go beyond the cuts agreed to in the debt limit deal last month.
As you know, the President has proposed a 5.2 percent pay increase for federal employees for 2024, 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 4.7 percent pay increase in 2024 before locality pay is added. Both the House and Senate FSGG bills are silent on the issue of the pay increase, thus deferring to the President’s proposal of 5.2 percent. NTEU will continue to work with Congress and the administration in support of the FAIR Act (H.R. 536/S. 124), which provides an average
Both bills also continue 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.
Unlike the Senate bill, there are several government-wide provisions in the House bill that are strongly opposed by NTEU. First is a provision that prohibits funding for federal agencies until they return to the level of telework and remote work as was the practice before the
With regard to specific agency funding, the Senate bill would provide the IRS with
In addition to providing funding for the IRS in FY 2024, the Senate and House bills contain several other IRS-related provisions of interest. First, to help the agency continue to address the backlog, both bills would continue providing the IRS with limited direct hire authority. Additionally, the Senate bill includes NTEU-supported language encouraging the agency to improve its use of competitive hiring and ensure adherence to the merit system when filling vacancies, and to not rely on the direct hire authority as its primary method of hiring. Finally, the Senate bill directs the IRS to ensure existing employees are provided notice of vacant positions and opportunities to apply and requires the IRS to submit quarterly reports on its use of direct hire authority.
Both the House and Senate bills continue a provision that prohibits funds for giving bonuses to employees or hiring former employees without considering conduct and compliance with federal tax law.
For the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, the Senate bill would provide $386 million for
Several other NTEU-represented agencies would see increases under the Senate bill while facing cuts under the House bill. Under the Senate bill, the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC), which is funded through fees, would get a 9 percent increase, to $2.4 billion. However, the House bill would provide the SEC with $149.3 million less than in FY 2023 for salaries and expenses which is $436.2 million less than the President’s FY 2024 request.
The Senate bill would also increase funding by $20 million for the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), for a total of $410 million, while the House bill would cut $8.2 million from FY 2023 levels, which would harm the FCC’s ability to combat robocalls and scams against the elderly.
And for the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), the House bill takes away the non-appropriated financing of the agency, instead of requiring taxpayer dollars to fund CFPB for the first time and providing the agency with $2 million less than its funding in FY 2023. The Senate bill does not contain this harmful language.
Please be assured as Congress continues consideration of FY 2024 funding legislation, NTEU will continue to fight for a fair pay raise and adequate funding to properly staff federal agencies and the resources you need to do your job while opposing these harmful policy riders. I will update you on further developments.
Anthony M. Reardon