Early last month, we discussed how the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act made what we hoped was an inadvertent change to a certain benefit for federal employees. Under previous law, workers who relocated for their jobs were allowed to deduct reimbursements for certain moving and travel expenses using the Withholding Tax Allowance and Relocation Income Tax Allowance computation. The TCJA removed those reimbursements from the computation while leaving the employee's home sales' excludable tax status unchanged.
The first full week of May is Public Service Recognition Week, which honors federal, state, county and local government workers nationwide. Thank you for your hard work throughout the year. Many public sector employees find their work satisfying and rewarding, and we hope our readers do, too.
There is an apparently unforeseen consequence of the Tax Cuts and Jobs Act that affects federal employees who have been reassigned. Under previous law, when federal employees relocated for their jobs they could deduct certain travel and moving expenses. Those deductions seem to have been removed by the new tax law. A coalition of federal employee associations hopes they can be reinstated when the Treasury Department and GSA update policies and regulations to comply with the new law.
U.S. Representative Elizabeth Esty (D - Conn.) has apologized for her failure to protect female staffers who claim to have been threatened and harassed by her former chief of staff. She has also abrogated a nondisclosure agreement signed as part of his termination.
On March 20, the House of Representatives decided to continue the so-called "Holman rule" through the end of the current Congress. The rule gives Congress the power to target individual federal workers for pay cuts or to gut specific agency programs through lack of funding.
During a recent House Armed Services subcommittee meeting, Defense Department investigators told lawmakers that complaints against senior military and defense officials have been increasing over the past several years. That said, more of these cases are being turned away as unsubstantiated and fewer officers have been found guilty of misconduct.
In his State of the Union address, President Trump urged lawmakers to make it easier to "remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people." As an example, he referred to the VA Accountability and Whistleblower Protection Act that he signed into law in June of last year.
If you're a federal employee or are applying for a federal job, a drunk driving arrest can be a big deal. First, it can cause you to miss work, which could lead to performance concerns. If your job requires you to have a valid driver's license, you may face real challenges. Also, an employer's concerns about your alcohol consumption can create problems with your security clearance.
Are intelligence officials trying to hamper the Intelligence Community Whistleblowing and Source Protection program? Senator Chuck Grassley (R-Iowa), chairman of the Senate Judiciary Committee, is asking.
On Friday, President Trump signed a two-week spending bill to avert a shutdown through Dec. 22. If necessary, additional time-limited measures could keep the government running until a permanent budget deal can be reached.