3.1% Federal Pay Raise, Election Security in Passed House FSGG Budget Bill

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The House passed the Financial Services and General Government (FSGG) Appropriations bill for fiscal year 2020 on June 26, providing funding for election security, IT projects, and Federal pay raises, as well as protections for Office of Personnel Management (OPM) employees.

The bill provides $24.55 billion in discretionary funding – an increase of $1.44 billion from the FY2019 allocation and $355.5 million more than the White House budget request.

The legislation noted that $6 million of the $1.4 million increase will go toward election security grants to the Election Assistance Commission, and it also includes a 3.1 percent Federal civilian pay raise.

In addition to the election security grants, the House bill allocates $1.25 million to the National Institute of Standards and Technology to aid in “election reform activities.”

The bill would give $18 million to Treasury Department efforts to boost enhanced cybersecurity, whether through system operating expenses or salaries, and the Internal Revenue Services would receive $3.8 billion for different taxpayer services and program, including IT development, enhancement, operations, maintenance and security.

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) would also receive $15 million for “integrated, efficient, secure, and effective uses of information technology” so that the OMB director can transfer funds to different agencies to implement IT-related oversight and reform.

The bill grants funding for other IT-driven projects, such as $35 million for the Technology Modernization Fund and $53.4 million to the Federal Citizen Services Fund – a program within the Technology Transformation Service. The Treasury would also receive $6.1 million “for development and acquisition of automatic data processing, equipment, software, and services” until the end of FY2021.

After the House Appropriations Committee offered the initial draft of the FSGG bill, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., offered an amendment – which was added to the final bill – that would prohibit OPM from furloughing or reducing its personnel.

“None of the funds made available by this Act may be used by the Office of Personnel Management to implement or carry out any furloughs or reduction in force of employees of the Office,” the final bill said.

The amendment follows recent threats from the White House to furlough 150 OPM employees if Congress blocks its plan to eliminate OPM.

The Senate received the bill June 27 and it has been passed on to its Appropriations Committee for review.

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