ATR, CWF Support the MERIT Act

Posted by Olivia Grady on Wednesday, June 19th, 2019 at 5:07 pm - Permalink

Today, Senator David Perdue (R-GA) and Congressman Barry Loudermilk (R-GA) reintroduced the Modern Employment Reform, Improvement and Transformation (MERIT) Act in the Senate and House. They were joined by Senators Marsha Blackburn (R-TN), Mike Braun (R-IN), Tom Cotton (R-AR), Chuck Grassley (R-IA) and Roger Wicker (R-MS).

Americans for Tax Reform (ATR) and the Center for Worker Freedom (CWF) strongly support the MERIT Act and urge members of Congress to pass the bill.

Grover Norquist, president of Americans for Tax Reform, explained his support for the bill last year:

 "Americans for Tax Reform strongly supports the MERIT Act because U.S. taxpayers should only pay for competent, law-abiding federal employees. The MERIT Act strengthens the federal workforce and ensures taxpayer money is spent wisely.”

ATR and CWF support the bill for several reasons. First, the MERIT Act would strengthen the federal workforce.

For example, the bill shortens the time that the federal government is required to wait to fire a poor performing employee. The MERIT Act also allows agencies to fire senior executives for performance reasons. Currently, agencies are only allowed to demote poor performing senior executives. 

As Congressman Loudermilk explains:

“Working for the United States federal government is an honor and privilege, and most federal employees cherish this opportunity and desire to serve the American people. Unfortunately, many underperforming federal employees feel entitled to their positions and treat them as their right. The solution to this issue is the MERIT Act. I thank my friend and colleague, Senator Perdue, for leading the charge on this important reform.”

ATR and CWF also support the MERIT Act because the bill would save taxpayer money.

The legislation reduces retirement benefits for employees who are fired for committing a felony while working for the federal government. In addition, the MERIT Act would allow agencies to recover bonuses and awards if the agencies learn of conduct or performance issues.

Finally, the MERIT Act works to ensure that the agencies are competently staffed in the future. The probationary period for competitive appointments and promotions would be two years, instead of one year.

Simply put, as Senator Perdue explained in his press release, America can neither afford nor does it deserve poor performing federal workers:

“Government employees should be held to the same standards as private sector employees, yet it is nearly impossible to fire bureaucrats for failing to do their jobs. Right now, it can take more than a year to fire or replace a civil service employee, even for poor performance or misconduct. With a $22 trillion debt crisis, we cannot afford to hold onto bureaucrats who aren’t doing their jobs. Since President Trump took office, more than 4,300 bad actors have been fired, demoted, or suspended at the VA. It’s time to expand those efforts and address problems across the entire federal government.”

Thank you to Senator Perdue and Congressman Loudermilk for leading this effort to support the federal workforce and U.S. taxpayers!