House members have ‘serious concerns’ about charity rules for feds

A bipartisan group of House members has “substantial concerns” about new Obama administration regulations for the Combined Federal Campaign, the charitable giving vehicle for the federal workforce.

Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images.
(Karen Bleier/AFP/Getty Images)

While praising certain elements of the new rules for increasing transparency and accountability, the members said any changes should “not negatively impact the program’s ability to serve those in need in our communities.”

In a letter to Office of Management and Budget  Director Sylvia Matthews Burwell, the Republicans and Democrats noted three points raised by charitable organizations: the non-refundable charity application fee, no cash contributions and changes to charity support organizations.

The letter was sent by Reps. Darrell E. Issa (R-Calif.) and Elijah E. Cummings (Md.), chairman and ranking Democrat, respectively, on the Oversight and Government Reform Committee;  Blake Farenthold (R-Tex.) and Stephen F. Lynch (Mass.), chairman and top Democrat on the federal workforce subcommittee; and David G. Reichert (R-Wash.), a member of the Ways and Means Committee.

The letter was dated the same day a Federal Diary column was published about complaints charities have over major portions of the new regulations.

In a blog post, Office of Personnel Management Director Katherine Archuleta said: “We understand that some groups have expressed apprehension over these changes. We take these concerns seriously and remain fully committed to working closely with charities and key stakeholders as we implement the final rule.”

federaldiary@washpost.com

Twitter: @JoeDavidsonWP

Joe Davidson writes the Federal Diary, a column about federal government and workplace issues that celebrated its 80th birthday in November 2012. Davidson previously was an assistant city editor at The Washington Post and a Washington and foreign correspondent with The Wall Street Journal, where he covered federal agencies and political campaigns.
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