House panel moves to fire tax delinquent feds

The House Oversight and Government Reform Committee approved legislation that could result in the firing of some federal employees who owe taxes.

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Rep. Darrell Issa (R-Calif.), chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee.

The legislation, which was approved Wednesday by a voice vote along party lines, says individuals with  “seriously delinquent tax debt” are not eligible to be federal employees. That includes those seeking federal employment as well as those already on staff.

The bill exempts certain tax debt, including that being paid off under a payment agreement or when there is taxpayer hardship.

“If someone is trying to do the right thing,” said Rep. Jason Chaffetz (R-Utah), “of course we want them to continue to be employed.”

Democrats opposed the bill, which now moves to the full House. D.C. congressional delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton (D) said the legislation holds “federal employees up for special targeting.” Added Rep. Jackie Speier (D-Calif.): “If they are fired we lose the ability to collect on the debt.”

federaldiary@washpost.com
Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about the federal workplace that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012.
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