Issa, Cummings Praise Bipartisan House Passage of Legislative Reforms

July 15, 2014

WASHINGTON – Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., and Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, D-Md., released the following statements after U.S. House of Representatives passage of bipartisan measures reported out of the Committee, including bills to modify the savings program for federal workers contributing toward retirement, to improve whistleblower protections, to modernize the Federal Register, and to provide additional authority to District of Columbia Courts to make managerial and personnel decisions.

“The House has approved legislative reforms that will streamline government and help it work more effectively,” said Chairman Issa. “From allowing federal workers to prepare better for retirement to providing protections for whistleblowers, these measures will improve the efficiency and operations of the federal government, and I urge prompt Senate passage.”

“These bills are common-sense, good-government measures that will improve the operations of the federal government and the District of Columbia,” said Ranking Member Cummings. “They should be passed by the Senate and enacted into law.”

The House passed H.R. 4193, the Smart Savings Act by unanimous voice vote. Introduced by Chairman Darrell Issa, the legislation modifies the Thrift Savings Plan (TSP) for federal workers by changing the default investment fund from a government securities fund to a more diversified, life-cycle fund.

The House passed H.R. 4197, the All Circuit Review Extension Act, by unanimous voice vote. Introduced by Ranking Member Elijah Cummings, H.R. 4197 extend a pilot program by the Whistleblower Protection Enhancement Act. The pilot program allows federal whistleblower appeals to be made outside of the Federal Circuit and was set to expire in November 2014. The change will extend the program for three additional years.

The House passed H.R. 4195, the Federal Register Modernization Act, introduced by Chairman Darrell Issa, by unanimous voice vote. The bill modernizes the Federal Register Act by removing the requirement to print the Federal Register and the requirement for agencies to submit multiple copies of documents to be published in the Federal Register. The bill replaces the requirement to print with the requirement to publish—which includes a requirement to circulate or distribute.

The House passed H.R. 4185, the District of Columbia Courts, Public Defender Service, and Court Services and Offender Supervision Agency Act, introduced by Del. Eleanor Holmes Norton, D-D.C., by unanimous voice vote. H.R. 4185 provides additional authority to District of Columbia Courts to make managerial and personnel decisions, including: the authority to collect debts and erroneous payments made to current and former court employees; the authority of the Director of Court Services and the Offender Supervision Agency to develop and operate incentive programs for sentenced offenders. This legislation also provides permanent authority for the Director of Court Services to accept or solicit any nonmonetary gift, donation, property, or services to facilitate the work of the Agency; and the authority to use reimbursements from the District government for space and services provided. Finally, this legislation authorizes the Public Defender Service to accept and use public grants, private contributions, and voluntary services.

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