Fedweek

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Among the bills recently reintroduced in Congress was S-838, a bipartisan bill to require decisions to grant, deny, or revoke clearances to be based on published criteria; prohibit agencies from revoking clearances based on the exercise of constitutional rights or for purposes of political retaliation; ban agencies from using security clearances to punish whistleblowers or discriminate on the basis of sex, gender, religion, age, handicap, or national origin; and put into law the limited appeal rights that are allowed while requiring agencies to publicly report on the outcome of such appeals.

Also reintroduced was S-841, to address a lingering tax issue regarding relocation expenses for some federal employees. The 2017 tax law generally made such reimbursements taxable income, but last year the GSA issue a policy generally allowing agencies to reimburse employees for the tax burden, as well. However, that extra reimbursement is not available under certain circumstances, affecting what the bipartisan sponsors estimate is about 5 percent of employees who receive relocation expenses, mainly newly hired employees and “last move home” relocations for those ready to retire.

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