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Conservative Groups Support the MERIT Act

Rep. Loudermilk’s (R-GA) Modern Employment Reform, Improvement, and Transformation (MERIT) Act is the cure for the waste and abuse currently plaguing our federal agencies. The MERIT Act is a huge step to creating a more efficient and effective government that works for the people, streamlining the process and lessening the time it takes to dismiss poor performing or negligent employees. It shouldn’t take over a year to remove a bad employee, as under the current system. Here’s what some are saying about the MERIT Act:

Americans for Prosperity: “The MERIT Act is common sense legislation that will help our government get the most out of our federal workforce. These measures will protect taxpayers and are long overdue. On behalf of 3.2 million activists across all 50 states, we support advancement of The Merit Act and look forward to educating the American people on the constructive reforms included in his bill.”

Brent Gardner
Chief Government Affairs Officer
Americans for Prosperity

R Street Institute: "The civil service is the bedrock of our executive branch. It is they who carry out the daily work of making government work for the people. Good government requires high quality employees. Unfortunately, today's civil service protocols make it very costly and very difficult for an agency to fire an underperforming federal employee. No private company could succeed with such restrictions. The MERIT Act is a good start for Congress' re-evaluation and modernization of the civil service. It balances workers' protections against arbitrary removal and agency managers' critical need to have the best possible workforce serving the public."

Kevin R. Kosar
Vice-President of Policy
R Street Institute

Americans for Tax Reform: "Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports Congressman Loudermilk’s MERIT Act and urges members of the House of Representatives to vote for the bill. The MERIT Act ensures that Americans have a strong federal workforce and that taxpayer money is spent effectively.”

Grover Norquist
Americans for Tax Reform

Americans for Limited Government: "The MERIT Act takes a significant step at reigning in the out of control bureaucracy that has turned Washington D.C. into a swamp. As last years VA reform made clear, allowing managers to dismiss poor performing employees while upholding whistle blower protections allows our civil service to work effectively and efficiently. We cannot drain the swamp if we cannot fire bad actors in the swamp, the MERIT Act takes a critical first step in allowing for just that.”

Rick Manning
Americans for Limited Government

Less Government: “One very obvious reason we have so much very bad government – is because we have so many very bad government employees. And very bad government – has made it very difficult for us to get rid of very bad government employees. Rep. Loudermilk’s MERIT Act – makes it easier to dispatch very bad government employees. Thereby rendering government - a little less bad.”

Seton Motley
Less Government

Citizens Against Government Waste: “The MERIT Act would represent a crucial step toward reforming and streamlining the federal bureaucracy. Holding all federal employees to the highest standards is the simplest way to demonstrate respect for the citizens who pay their salaries.”

Tom Schatz
Citizens Against Government Waste

National Taxpayers Union: “With time running out on the 115th Congress, Members of Congress should prioritize getting commonsense reforms, like the MERIT Act, across the finish-line. For too long, federal employees who waste taxpayer funds or violate workplace conduct have avoided the types of consequences similar behaviors would garner in the private-sector. While this issue is left unresolved, lack of accountability will continue to penalize both taxpayers and the majority of federal employees, who perform their jobs diligently and well. In addition, NTU is pleased that the MERIT Act upholds protections for whistleblowers, who have consistently been the first line of defense against wasteful, sometimes criminal actions. Members shouldn't leave this important opportunity to end civil service sinecures on the table.”

Nan Swift
Federal Affairs Manager
National Taxpayers Union

Summary of H.R. 559:

• Permits agencies to remove a senior executive from the civil service for performance reasons, rather than merely demoting the individual to a non-Senior Executive Service (SES) position

• Affects the retirement benefits of employees who are removed based on a felony conviction based on actions taken in furtherance of official duties

• Repeals the special process for taking action against poor performers, which is unnecessarily time-consuming, and streamlines the process for removal or suspension of poor performers and bad actors

• Addresses concerns about arbitrators overruling Merit Systems Protection Board (MSPB) precedent by prohibiting grievances based on adverse personnel actions. Employees will be able to appeal these actions exclusively to the MSPB

• Prohibits appeals to MSPB based on short-term furloughs, consistent with current short-term suspension rules

• Prohibits appeals of emergency furloughs, defined as furloughs resulting from a lapse of appropriations

• Authorizes the Office of Personnel Management to reduce the procedural burden on agencies when taking furlough actions, particularly those resulting from budgetary constraints

• Authorizes agencies to order repayment of bonuses and awards when performance or conduct issues are discovered and it is determined the bonus or award would not have been paid had these issues been known at the time

• Ensures adequate time to evaluate a new employee to determine whether he or she should be retained by extending the probationary period for competitive service appointments and SES members from one year to two years