The House has passed a bill (HR-4361) that would make all SES employees subject to the same limited appeal rights applying to those working for the VA, among other changes. However, the White House has threatened a veto over that and certain other parts of the bill, which packages together a number of bills previously passed by the Oversight and Government Reform Committee—and that likely amounts to the major civil service reform effort in Congress this year. The provisions regarding the SES would shorten notice and appeal rights and require that the department’s disciplinary action will stand unless an MSPB administrative judge overturns it within three weeks, with no appeal allowed to the full three-member Board or on into federal court. It was those latter provisions that caused the VA to stop using those authorities, and revert to traditional SES disciplinary practices, after the administration said it would not defend them against a court challenge.
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