During its September session—wedged between two long recesses—Congress did enact temporary funding for agencies through December 9 (P.L. 114-223) and did create new whistleblower protections at the VA but it left many issues affecting federal employees and retirees by the wayside. How many of those issues will gain attention in the planned post-election session—four weeks total are planned, starting the week of November 14—is questionable, given that Congress will need to address agency funding once again and deal with numerous other leftover issues in that period. One measure that is considered virtually must-pass is the DoD authorization bill, which would make veterans preference apply government-wide only to a first competitive service job, raise the buyout maximum payment at DoD from $25,000 to $40,000, and create or extend numerous special hiring and pay authorities there aimed at hard to fill positions.
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