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GOP votes to turn back time on telework policies, banning remote work

The SHOW UP Act would require federal agencies to revert to their telework policies before the COVID-19 pandemic. I question the necessity and the goal.

Modern times require modern solutions. This unnecessary bill effectively banning remote work for federal employees is antiquated and counterproductive.

WASHINGTON, D.C. — The House voted 221-206 on Wednesday to pass legislation requiring federal agencies to revert to their pre-pandemic telework policies. However, the measure is likely to meet stiff resistance in the Senate.

The Stopping Home Office Work's Unproductive Problems Act (H.R. 139) would require agencies to "reinstate and apply the telework policies, practices and levels . . . in effect on December 31, 2019" within 30 days of the bill's enactment. If agencies want to expand telework beyond 2019 levels, they must submit to Congress a plan certified by the Office of Personnel Management.

The private sector is also increasing its use of telework permanently. Over 80% of companies will work in a hybrid environment because, often, telework can improve services.

As users of government services, we desire effectiveness and efficiency. If agencies can provide adequate services, I don't care if federal employees work remotely, in the office, or a hybrid of both. Just like private businesses, government agencies should continuously look at how to improve. Congress does not know better than an agency to tell them to revert to 2019 practices.

The world has changed after COVID. Let us adopt the positives and remove the negatives. This bill doesn't do that. It takes us backward.


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