Fedweek

Bills recently introduced or advancing in Congress cover veterans preference, tax delinquency in retirees, and raising the pay cap for some VA positions.

S-2594, up for approval in the Senate Veterans Affairs Committee, to expand veterans preference in federal hiring by extending eligibility to those honorably discharged from active duty service if the active duty service was performed for more than 180 days total (currently, the time must be consecutive); and to end the current restrictions that military retirees are eligible only if they retired under disability or below the rank of major or its equivalent.

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S-3184, newly introduced, to require an annual report, to be posted online, of current and retired federal employees who have a delinquent tax debt that is not being paid through an installment agreement or who have an unfiled tax return for the prior year, and the aggregate amounts and frequency rates for each. While individual names would not be posted, creating such a database would add visibility to an issue that in the past has led to proposals to disqualify persons from new or continued employment on tax delinquency grounds.

S-3084, passed by the Senate, to excludes SES-equivalent health care positions at the VA from an existing pay cap with the intent of improving the department’s ability to recruit and retain in such positions.