Posted on Behalf of Jon Rose
On Feb. 17,2022 I met with Sen. Padilla’s Bay Area Field Representative, Zara Haji, on a NARFE Zoom meeting. email@example.com
I thanked the Senator for supporting S.1302 to repeal the WEP and the GPO, and also
signing on to S. 1327 protect the right to organize.
And committing against S1561
He is working to pass everything that was in the Build Back Better Act.
He is a very strong supporter of strengthening voter accessibility.
I told her I’d written him about some other bills and hadn't heard back
S. 2055 The Whistleblower Protection Act that was introduced by Senator Maloney
S. 3518 The Fair Act. I hadn’t realized he is a co-sponsor and subsequently emailed to thank him.
S. 1158. Comprehensive Paid Leave for Federal Employees Act.
S. 1561. One Locality Pay Equity Act.
She believes Sen. Padilla will support all of these and will keep me posted.
S1 For the People (voting rights) act. Companion bill H.R. 1 has passed. In the Senate there are 48 co-sponsors (including both of our Senators) + the author, but not a single Republican. These are probably the most important bills for our future because the preserve democracy by reversing Republican States from restricting voting rights. If it is too difficult for our supporters to vote, and if political appointees can override outcomes certified by Secretaries of State, we will see decades of cut-backs and discriminatory legislation. We need to insure every American is able to vote and stop voter restriction bills in reactionary states. The legislation would also establish bipartisan commissions to draw the lines for legislative districts and require redistricting not favor either major party. The provision has the potential to create scores of newly competitive districts and, supporters say, would combat the partisan polarization in the House. This bill is stuck because of Senators Manchin and Sinema.
This is a similar situation to when Lyndon Johnson created Medicare and Medicaid. I believe two Democratic Senators were holding it up and Johnson put tremendous pressure on them. I believe Pres. Biden is being too nice. Please email the White House and tell the President to apply maximum pressure. He was in the Senate with them and he knows their weak spots.
Oppose S1295 (Romney) The Trust Act. This leg. is designed to privatize the Highway Trust Fund and decrease Social Security payments. Sen. Padilla replied positively to my letter to oppose this bill. Sen. Feinstein has not replied. No action since April. Unlikely to get to a vote.
H.R. 4673, the Ensuring Veterans’ Smooth Transition Act (Takano) Would enroll new Veterans in VAHC automatically when they are discharged from the military. Cleared committee in the House. Introduced in the Senate and referred to their Committee on Veterans Affairs, but no Senate companion bill yet.
HR2988 (Maloney D-NY) / S2055 (Grassley R-OR) Whistleblower Protection Improvement Act. One-third of all Gov. whistleblower reprisals are committed by VA. This act would give us access to the courts in addition to the FLRA. 22 co-sponsors in the House, only Bay Area co-sponsors are Speier and Khanna for this bi-partisan bill. Approved to be voted in the House as an amendment on June 29, 2021 and not yet acted upon. Only one co-sponsor in the Senate. Neither of our Senators have co-sponsored.
WEP and GPO Repeal Bill Introduced in the Senate
S1302 Senator Padilla has now joined Senator Feinstein in co-sponsoring this important bill. Representatives Garamendi, Eshoo, Takano, Khana, Harder, Lee, Panetta, Harder, Speier, have co-sponsored the House version, HR82. Write Sen. Padilla to thank him. Bill is stuck in the Committee on Finance since April.
Pro Act Protecting the Right to Organize Act of 2021 has passed in the house and has 46 sponsors in the Senate (S420). Both CA Senators are on-board. Referred to Committee on Health, Education, Labor, and Pensions. No action since February 2021. Passage not looking good from my perspective.
HR6398/S3518 The Fair Act. So-far only Garamendi has co-sponsored for our 5.1% raise in the house and only Padilla in the Senate. Introduced 1/13/22 and not yet referred to the House Committee on Oversight and Reform. If your Representative is someone else, send them and Sen. Feinstein an email to co-sponsor! Let them know why you need this raise. Personal stories go a long way.
S1158 / HR 564 Compensated paid leave for Federal employees act. Prospects are not looking good. (Speier, Khanna & McNerney have co-sponsored in the House, neither CA Senator has co-sponsored) . Would give paid family leave for the care of an immediate family member with a serious health condition, inability to work due to a serious health condition, and exigencies relating to an immediate family member's active duty service in the Armed Forces. In the Senate it has been stuck in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs since April.
S1561 Locality Pay Equity Act of 2021. This bill will prohibit the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) from defining more than one local wage area for prevailing rate employees within a pay locality, except with respect to the pay locality designated as Rest of United States; and (2) requires the OPM to ensure that this bill shall not have the effect of reducing the rate of basic pay for an individual serving as a prevailing rate employee. Very important for our WG employees. Senator Feinstein wrote me a carefully worded reply that she is essentially on the fence. Sen. Padilla has not replied. Has been stuck in the Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs since May.
Email our Senators to encourage them to write legislation to build Federal desalination plants on the West Coast to meet our growing fresh water needs. It rained a lot on Sunday, but the drought is far from over. The main objection is cost and this would be very expensive, but so is the alternative – people needing to move due to no ground water and California’s agriculture ruined. Using tidal power to generate electricity will result in little ongoing energy cost, but construction costs will be something only the federal government can afford.
The Postal Service Reform Act (S.1720) would enshrine desperately needed reforms into law. It reverses an absurd law that requires the USPS to fund retiree health benefits 75 years into the future — something no other federal agency or private corporation is subject to. It also makes the postal service more transparent, preserves Monday-through-Saturday delivery, enables the USPS to expand services, and more. This bill passed in the House. Senator Padilla is working to rectify clerical errors made in the Senate’s text before the Senate votes on it. The law should eliminate prefunding of retirement in order to keep the Postal Service solvent, and current retirees should be able to choose Social Security or not. Sen. Feinstein has not co-sponsored yet. Please write her