It took the House Armed Services Committee all day and all night on Wednesday to go over nearly 300 proposals in its 2016 Defense Authorization bill, but they finally approved it at around 4:30 a.m. Thursday morning – with several measures that affect AFGE members. Thanks to the awesome work of local activists, several AFGE-backed measures were adopted. These nine measures would:
- Reverse travel per diem cuts and prevent the Defense Department from passing lodging and dining costs onto DoD civilians. (Takai amendment – originally a bill introduced in March by Rep. Derek Kilmer of Washington)
- Prevent the resurrection of NSPS. (Bordallo amendment – See how your member of Congress voted here)
- Extend a cap on service contract spending. (Takai amendment, co-sponsored by Bishop)
- Give DoD civilians opportunities to perform new work they wouldn’t otherwise get because of the cap on the size of the civilian workforce. (O’Rourke amendment).
- Prevent arbitrary conversions of civilian jobs to military. (Bordallo amendment, co-sponsored by Bishop)
- Exempt working capital funds employees, who are paid through reimbursements for the services they provide, from non-disciplinary furloughs as long as funds are available. (Rogers amendment)
- Exclude working capital funds employees from arbitrary 20% cuts in headquarters personnel. (Bishop amendment)
- Fix the commercial item definition so that workload can be declared as core workload for the depots. (Scott amendment)
- Require DoD to review items purchased overseas to see if any could be manufactured in the arsenals or fabricated in the depots, bringing additional work to civilian employees. (Duckworth amendment)
The full House will take up the bill, which sets DoD policy and funding levels, early May.