When it comes to federal employees, one party wants to give, the other plans to take away.


(Jim Bourg/Reuters)

Legislation introduced by House Democrats and Republicans demonstrates their differing approaches to the federal workforce. With the GOP now running the House and the Senate, federal employees don’t need to guess which party will prevail.

Most of the early action on feds has been in the House. Both chambers will attempt — again — to tackle postal reform, but that’s a special case for another day.

In the early days of this new Congress, House Republicans have proposed cutting the workforce by 10 percent through attrition and Defense Department civilian jobs by 15 percent through attrition or termination. They also want to allow the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) to take back employee bonuses and reduce the pensions of senior executives convicted of certain crimes. Legislation to fire tax-delinquent feds is likely to advance. Expect to see another push to make new hires pay more toward retirement than current workers and an effort to speed the employee disciplinary process.

Meanwhile, congressional Democrats, in the unrewarding position of controlling nothing, can deliver little.

Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (D-Va.) introduced legislation that would raise federal pay in 2016 by 3.8 percent, which probably is greater than its chances of approval.

There’s a pattern here and it’s not one that will make feds happy.

Read more in the Federal Diary.