In its push to recess by the end of next week, Congress is setting aside a number of bills of importance to federal employees—leaving them to be dealt with in the post-election session, if at all this year. The House last week passed one major bill, restricting disciplinary appeals rights and boosting whistleblower protections at the VA, a bill that if enacted is seen as a model for a move to make similar changes at all agencies. However, major legislation including the DoD authorization—which could increase the maximum buyout payment at DoD and restrict veterans preference in hiring to a first competitive service job government-wide, among other provisions—has not emerged from a House-Senate conference. Also set aside are numerous bills involving issues such as administrative leave, along with a more recent proposal from the administration to increase an $800 funeral allowance and a $10,000 payment to employees who are killed or who die of injuries sustained in the line of duty, to $8,800 and $100,000, respectively.
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