H.R. 2617 Becomes Law: The Government is Funded

December 30, 2022

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Before the end of the 117th Congress, lawmakers worked to pass a bipartisan $1.7 trillion spending bill that funds the government through Sept. 30, 2023. This bill passed in the Senate on Dec. 22, 2022, the House the next day, and was signed into law by President Biden on Dec. 29, 2022.

This new budget incorporates two aspects we were fighting for: increased funding for the
National Labor Relations Board (NLRB) and positive electoral reform. The NLRB protects the rights of workers to organize and collectively bargain, while working to prevent unfair labor practices. The NLRB has been flat-funded since 2014 and, without a much-needed funding increase, was set to furlough employees in the new year. This bill gives the agency a $25 million increase and allows the agency to continue protecting the rights of American workers.

Another notable provision of the spending bill is a measure designed to protect our elections. The bi-partisan Electoral Count Reform Act confirms that the vice president has only a ceremonial role in counting the electoral college votes. This part of the law also increases the threshold to challenge results to prevent one member of Congress from impeding the transition between presidential administrations. This provision will secure the integrity of our presidential elections and help prevent a future presidential administration from obstructing the transition of power just because they disagree with the results of an election.

While we lobbied for the elimination of the Windfall Elimination Provision (WEP) and Government Pension Offset (GPO), an expanded child tax credit, as well as the continuation of Office of Workers’ Compensation (OWCP) Covid presumption language, these additions were not included in the spending bill. There is much work to be done in the upcoming 118th Congress, and the APWU will continue to fight for the issues that matter most to our members in the new year.

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