Recently introduced legislation would rescind certain spending provisions from the American Rescue Plan Act, one of which is the emergency paid leave provision for federal employees.
Congressman Jeff Duncan (R-SC) introduced the bill (H.R. 2087) last week to take away various spending provisions from the new law which he described as “unrelated spending” to the COVID-19 pandemic.
“Once again House Democrats flooded what should have been a targeted, bipartisan COVID-19 relief bill with pork spending unrelated to the pandemic. Only 9% of the funding in the ‘American Rescue Plan Act’ will go directly toward eradicating the COVID-19 pandemic,” Duncan said in a statement.
He added that he had filed an amendment to remove $494 billion in funding from the American Rescue Plan Act when it was being considered in Congress but that it was defeated by Democrats in the House which is part of the reason he was introducing the bill.
One of the provisions in the new $1.9 trillion spending bill that is key for federal employees is a provision that provides up to 15 weeks of paid leave for COVID related reasons for the remainder of the current fiscal year. Duncan’s bill would rescind the $570 million in the American Rescue Plan Act that would provide this paid leave.
It is unlikely, however, that the bill will advance in the House. Given that the American Rescue Plan Act is now law and the White House has launched a nationwide campaign to promote it, it is virtually certain that a new bill taking away significant parts of it would never become law.
The Office of Personnel Management will also be issuing formal guidance soon to instruct agencies on how to go about implementing the new emergency paid leave option under the new law for federal employees.