Federal Manager's Daily Report

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A group of a dozen House Republicans including minority leader Kevin McCarthy of California, have urged the Biden administration to move quickly to more fully reopen federal offices, especially of the SSA and agencies that provide in-person services.

The latest of many such pushes from Capitol Hill, mainly from Republicans, cites the general decline over a longer period in COVID-19 cases, although it does not mention the more recent upswing that is concentrated in certain areas, particularly some with relatively low rates of vaccination.

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However, the letter is the first to specifically mention the federal workplace safety task force’s policy of not changing workplace policies until after any required bargaining with unions, urging the administration “to prioritize the reopening of federal offices in the interests of all Americans, not just those of unions.” Requiring bargaining first “openly acknowledges that union whims remain an obstacle to the American people’s reasonable ability to seek benefits that they are entitled to,” they wrote.

“If agency heads are required to bend to the whims of union bosses before reopening offices, as the task force appears to be requiring, our constituents, for example, will continue to be required to mail in vital documents—such as birth certificates and drivers licenses—to the SSA for an unknown period of time in order to access their Social Security benefits,” they wrote.

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2021 Federal Employees Handbook