How does one keep track of all the legislation that affects federal employees and retirees?
Before Congress went home for recess, there had been a flurry of bills introduced and it continued unabated after they returned. For example, looking through FedSmith’s “weekly recap” email that covered the week ending February 17th, one would find that legislation had been introduced that week to:
- Stop political “burrowing” (no donkey jokes please);
- Exempt veterans from the hiring freeze;
- Abolish the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau;
- Give federal employees 6 weeks of paid parental leave; and
- Express support for the federal workforce (technically this was a “resolution” not legislation).
Most legislation is introduced early in each session of Congress, but, once introduced, these bills don’t disappear. Many of them will get through committees; some of them will pass one or both houses of Congress; and a few might be signed into law by President Trump.
What’s the best way to follow these bills on their path through the law making system?
If you’re a member of NARFE, I highly recommend their legislative action center, which can be found on their website.
NARFE stands for the National Active and Retired Federal Employees’ Association and was previously called the National Association of Retired Federal Employees. For those of you wondering how to pronounce the name, it’s “narf”; the e is silent.
What kind of information can you find on the NARFE website? They have legislative webinars that you can watch; they have a legislative action center that has the status of all current bills; you can find NARFE’s position on the issues and access letters that you can send to your elected representatives on issues important to federal employees and retirees.
You can find out how your Senator or Congressperson has voted on issues that are important to the federal community. I found out that my Congressman was the only Representative from Illinois who opposed NARFE’s position on each and every one of the issues they were tracking in the last Congress – sigh.
NARFE members receive legislative updates by email. If you’re intent on following legislation that impacts you as a federal employee or retiree, the NARFE website is a good place to go. In the interest of full disclosure – yes, I am a NARFE member and have been one for 20 years.