Fedweek

Bills pertaining to federal employee career advancement, public service loan forgiveness, and apprenticeships have recently been introduced in Congress, with a key House panel set to advance two bills on federal benefits related to shutdowns.

HR-2979, to encourage national security agencies to expand development and career advancement opportunities for women and minorities in their workforces and to require them to publicly report on their diversity and inclusion efforts.

HR-3096, which would change the program in which federal employees and other public servants can have student loans forgiven, by reducing the amount owed gradually every two years that monthly payments are made until they are eliminated after 10 years, compared with the current policy of only total elimination after 10 years.

HR-3135 and S-1739, to establish apprenticeships and pre-apprenticeship programs between the national laboratories and the National Nuclear Security Administration and universities, community colleges, local high schools and intermediaries.

Meanwhile, the House Oversight and Reform Committee is set to advance two bills affecting federal employee benefits in any future partial government shutdown. HR-2003 would guarantee that changes in FEHB enrollment due to life events such as the birth of a child continue to be processed; and HR-2004, which would guarantee that FEDVIP and FLTCIP coverage be continued with the enrollee share of premiums accruing until the shutdown ends, ending the current policy of direct billing after several premiums have been missed by employees in unpaid status.