Senate Republicans on Monday released their coronavirus relief proposal, called the HEALS Act, launching the start of negotiations with House Democrats who passed their stimulus plan in May.
The Senate proposal includes provisions that impact NTEU-represented agencies including $1.6 billion in supplemental funding for CBP to make up for the loss of user fees due to reduced trade and travel during the pandemic. It also includes $2 billion in supplemental funding for the IRS for business systems modernization through fiscal year 2025 and $320 million for fiscal year 2020 for the IRS to carry out a second round of stimulus checks and respond to the pandemic.
The House version of the relief bill, the HEROES Act, includes $78 million for the Bureau of Fiscal Service and $520 million for the IRS for pandemic response in fiscal year 2020 as well as several pro-federal employee provisions that NTEU strongly supports. They would provide hazard pay for public-facing workers at increased risk of COVID-19 exposure, require maximum telework throughout the pandemic and eliminate out-of-pocket expenses for coronavirus treatment under FEHBP.
NTEU is also urging Congress to broaden weather and safety leave to cover childcare and other dependent care responsibilities resulting from the pandemic, and to allow federal employees to carry over unused annual leave.
We will continue to advocate for you and provide updates as congressional negotiations move forward.