Federal Manager's Daily Report

Removal of "government" in committee name signals new direction

In another sign of the changed priorities for Congress with the House now under Democratic control, the main committee there has reorganized its subcommittees and has named new leadership.

The retitled House Oversight and Reform Committee now has five subcommittees: civil rights and civil liberties; economic and consumer policy; environment; government operations and national security. Only the last two of those had direct counterparts under Republican control, with former subcommittees on IT and on intergovernmental relations now eliminated. The other subcommittees from prior Congresses were on healthcare, benefits and administrative rules, and on the interior, energy and environment.

The key panel for federal employee matters will be the government operations subcommittee, which will feature several Democratic members who are long-time adherents for federal employees including chairman Gerald Connolly of Virginia, Eleanor Holmes Norton of the District of Columbia, John Sarbanes of Maryland and Stephen Lynch of Massachusetts. The ranking Republican will be Mark Meadows of North Carolina, one of the House’s leading conservatives. The GOP membership also will include Jody Hice of Georgia, who has been the leading advocate for closer tracking of “official time” by federal employees on union duties–an issue the panel likely will no longer pursue.

The counterpart Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has just three subcommittees, on investigations, federal spending oversight and emergency management, and regulatory affairs and federal management. The third of those is the key for federal employee issues and will be headed by James Lankford, R-Okla., who in the last Congress was a primary sponsor of a bill to give fast-track consideration to the administration’s government reorganization plans that require changes in legislation. The ranking Democrat will be Kyrsten Sinema of Arizona, a freshman.