Results of Govt Reform Cmte Hearing On Rumsfeld

For your Information -- As many of you know, the House Government Reform committee voted yesterday on the Rumsfeld bill, and to make a long story short -- we lost on Pay for Performance (merit pay) and preserving collective bargaining rights for DoD employees.

The only concession the Committee made was to pass a watered down "appeal rights" amendment which eliminates current appeal rights for DoD employees but creates a kind of consultative appeal board (at the discretion of the Secretary). We don't view this as having any "teeth" to it, but without the amendment, the Rumsfeld bill simply eliminated appeal rights and offered no replacement. The amendment AFGE wanted on the issue of appeal rights did not pass. Only this watered down one which we did not request.

AFGE's amendment would have left current appeal rights in place. Why did we lose so much? As one person told me, it just seems that the Administration has an agenda and we are "in the way." The committee members, in particular the Republican committee members, were lobbied heavily by Rumsfeld himself and the committee chairman, Tom Davis of Virginia, who does not like us. In fact, the Republican committee members were constantly pulled out of the committee room to answer phone calls from Rumsfeld and be yelled at by the committee chair and others during the session. Intimidation at its worst! What's next -- the House Armed Services committee meets next week to fold the Rumsfeld bill and some heavy pro-contracting language into the Defense Authorization bill. The pro-contractor language is so bad that it even creates a position of Contract Manager who MUST be a political appointee of the President and who MUST NOT face Senate scrutiny/review. Porkbarrel all the way! Anyway, I decided to send this message as an "information only" communication, but in case you are wondering who are the members of the House Armed Services committee from our district, they are: Saxton, McHugh, Simmons, LoBiondo, Bradley (NH), Meehan, Larson, Langevin, and Israel. Again, they will be voting on the bill next week. Please call me or send me an e-mail if you have any questions. Thanks, Linda