Funding Increases for IRS, SEC Approved by House Committee

Press Release July 15, 2020

Washington D.C. – NTEU-endorsed legislation to increase funding for multiple agencies and provide workplace fairness for all federal employees was passed by the House Appropriations Committee today.

“We commend House appropriators for recognizing that federal agencies need additional investments next year to carry out their increasingly complex missions during the ongoing public health crisis,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “We urge Congress to complete this and all appropriations bills on time and give federal employees some reassurance that another government shutdown will be avoided.”

For the IRS, the Financial Services and General Government funding bill would add $606 million to the agency’s budget in fiscal year 2021, another step in rebuilding the agency after nearly a decade of deep cuts in funding and staff.

“This is clear recognition that the IRS, which collects 95 percent of the government’s revenue, is a wise investment. The bill ensures this agency has the people and resources necessary to provide needed assistance to taxpayers, prevent tax evasion and help bring down the federal deficit,” Reardon said.

The bill would provide $5.2 billion for IRS tax enforcement activities, a $196 million increase over the current level. Funding for taxpayer services, including critical resources to provide taxpayers with pre-filing assistance and education, filing and account services, would be increased by $91 million over the FY 2020 level.

The bill would also provide $341 million for the Bureau of the Fiscal Service, including dedicated resources for information systems modernization initiatives, and calls for a $105 million increase for the Securities and Exchange Commission. Importantly, the legislation does not include the president's request to put the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau under the appropriations process, something strongly opposed by NTEU.

On an issue that affects federal employees in all agencies, the legislation would prevent agencies from implementing any collective bargaining agreement that was not mutually and voluntarily agreed to be all parties, or decided in binding arbitration.

“The Trump administration has taken steps to bypass normal good faith bargaining and impose contracts on frontline employees in certain agencies represented by NTEU and other unions, and we commend Congress for trying to put an end to this harmful practice,” Reardon said.

The legislation makes no changes to the president’s proposed pay increase of 1 percent for federal employees next year, but NTEU is instead calling on Congress to provide parity with the 3 percent raise planned for the military.

NTEU represents about 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.