Fedweek

The House has passed HR-1235 to extend by up to another year the term of the lone member of the MSPB governing board, whose term—already extended by a year—is set to end Friday.

With only one member, the three-seat board has been unable to issue decisions in federal employee appeals for more than two years. The impact on the agency of having no members is unknown; there has been speculation that even hearing officers would have to stop issuing decisions. The House vote aims to head off that possibility although the bill also bars an MSPB member from holding two positions at once, and the incumbent, Mark Robbins, also is general counsel at OPM.

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The bill now is before the Senate, where nominees for two seats recently cleared the committee level. However, it appears that they will not be brought to a full Senate confirmation vote in the absence of a third appointee. A nominee for the other seat withdrew just before the committee vote.