As the current Congress nears its end, members are trying to push numerous bills over the finish line rather than have to start over from the beginning in the new Congress convening next year. The Senate has joined the House in passing HR-4902, to expand law enforcement availability pay to employees of U.S. Customs and Border Protection’s Air and Marine Operations. The Senate also passed S-434, to require updated guidance—to be revisited every five years—on setting the level of clearance required for positions, and to bar federal contractors and employees who have compromised the integrity of a background investigation from performing future background investigation. Meanwhile, OPM has finalized rules already in effect on an interim basis giving veterans preference in federal hiring to a military service member even before release from active duty, and extending FEHB eligibility to certain temporary firefighter and emergency response employees. OPM meanwhile has proposed rules to bring certain federal employee overtime practices under the Fair Labor Standards Act formally in line with Labor Department policies that have been followed informally, including certain standards on determining what jobs convey eligibility for overtime pay.
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