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*** Sens. Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Ben Cardin (D-Md.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) are questioning the motivations behind the Trump administration's plan to reorganize the Office of Personnel Management as a service within the General Services Administration. Under the reorganization proposal, government-wide human resources policy would be shifted to the Office of Management and Budget, and run by an administrator without Senate confirmation.

"We wish to express both our frustration about the lack of transparency that defined the Administration's drafting of this proposal and our grave concern that these changes will negatively impact and further undermine our country's federal workforce," the lawmakers wrote in a letter to acting OMB director Russell Vought. "Federal workers have every right to be concerned with this proposal and the administration owes them substantially more information and transparency than has been provided to date."

Last week, the White House requested congressional authorization to go ahead with the proposed move, but both chambers of Congress so far have been reticent to give the okay. The planned move will be discussed at a May 21 hearing of the Government Operations subcommittee of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform.

*** Two senators from the Homeland Security and Government Affair Committee are proposing legislation to support the faster resolution of constituent services requests involving federal agencies. The Creating Advanced Streamlined Electronic Services for Constituents Act offered by Sens. Rob Portman (R-Ohio) and Tom Carper (D-Del.) would allow constituents to electronically authorize their senators and representatives to take action on their behalf without the need for written authorization as required under the Privacy Act. A companion bill passed the House earlier this year without opposition.

Posted on May 21, 2019 at 2:30 AM


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