Federal Diary

Pentagon Stays On Track

By Stephen Barr

The House, on a 218 to 202 vote yesterday, declined to stop the Pentagon from moving ahead with a plan for a new personnel system aimed at streamlining civil service rules and revamping union bargaining rights.

Reps. Jay Inslee (D-Wash.) and Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.) offered an amendment to stop funding for key parts of the National Security Personnel System, which the Pentagon contends will help improve recruitment, pay and managerial accountability for Defense Department civilians.

"It was a strong vote," Inslee said. Yesterday's debate, he said, hopefully reminded Pentagon officials "that there is strong concern that we have meaningful and real collective bargaining rather than a sham collective bargaining system."