Four bills that could affect your federal job, salary

The 114th Congress has introduced numerous bills, many of which directly target the federal workforce.

Below are four recently introduced bills that, if they become law, could affect your job and paycheck.

Cutting six-figure salaries

Rep. Tom Rice (R-S.C.) introduced the Promotion Accountability In Decisions (PAID) for Progress Act.

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This measure would reduce by 8.7 percent the salaries of federal employees making more than $100,000 annually. It would affect civilian federal employees and elected federal officials, but not active duty military officials.

“Government regulations have restricted recovery, causing everyday expenses like gas, groceries and electricity to eat up families’ budgets,” Rice said in a statement. “Meanwhile, the federal bureaucrats making these decisions and imposing regulations are taking home six-figure salaries.”

The provision would remain in effect until the economy recovers to pre-recession levels.

High-five replacing high-three for pensions

Rep. Bruce Westerman (R-Ark.) introduced the Government Employee Pension Reform Act of 2015.

This bill would base federal employees’ pensions on the highest five years of salary instead of three. The change would save $3.1 billion in 10 years, according to the Congressional Budget Office.

If it passes, the legislation would go into effect in January 2017. The measure would affect civilian federal employees and members of Congress and their staff, but not military pensions.

Federal employee groups and labor unions were not happy with the bill. The American Federation of Government Employees said it would “rob feds of their retirement.”

Government shutdowns a thing of the past?

Rep. Alan Grayson (D-Fla.) introduced the Shut Down the Shutdowns Act.

The bill would automatically extend agencies’ budgets for another fiscal year, if Congress fails to pass a funding bill before the deadline.

This would apply to a situation such as in 2013, when Congress failed to fund all agencies, leading to a 16-day government shutdown. It would also apply to individual agencies, such as we saw a few weeks ago with the Homeland Security Department facing the threat of a shutdown.

The bill would serve as a stopgap measure until Congress approves new funding legislation for the agency or agencies.

Reducing and eliminating agency programs

Rep. John Fleming (R-La.) introduced the Realign and Eliminate Duplicative Unnecessary Costly Excess (REDUCE) in Government Act of 2015.

A long yet fairly explanatory name.

This one establishes a Federal Realignment and Closure Commission of nine members. Of those nine members, the President will name three. The remaining six will be chosen as follows: two will be appointed by the President in consultation with the Speaker of the House, one in consultation with the House minority leader, two with the Senate majority leader and one with the minority leader of the Senate. Members of the committee may not be current members of Congress or employees of the executive branch.

The commission would create a “systematic method” to assess agency programs. The exception — programs under the Defense Department.

Each year, the commission would recommend which programs to realign and which to eliminate. In the event that a program is eliminated, the agency must make “reasonable efforts” to relocate federal employees working on that program to another job in the government.

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