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Ross and Gingrey Introduce Legislation to Protect Taxpayer Dollars from Being Used for Union Activities

Press Release

Location: Washington, DC

U.S. Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11) and U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross (FL-15) introduced bills that would ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent wisely and not used by government employees to perform union activities:

H.R. 107, the Federal Employee Accountability Act, was introduced by Rep. Phil Gingrey (GA-11) January 2013. Rep. Ross is an original cosponsor. This bill eliminates use of "official time." During the Carter administration, a law was enacted allowing federal employees to perform union activities--during the official work day--on the taxpayers' dime. Use of official time is estimated to cost taxpayers $1.3 billion over 10 years. Repealing official time will save taxpayers money, provide greater government transparency and increase oversight of federal employees.

H.R. 568, the Official Time Reporting Act was introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross yesterday. Rep. Gingrey is an original cosponsor of the bill. This bill would require the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) to submit an annual report to Congress on the use of official time by federal employees. 'Official time' is defined as any period of time given to a federal employee to perform representational or consultative functions and during which the employee would otherwise be in a duty status."

"Rep. Gingrey and I worked together to introduce two bills that would address time reporting by federal employees, specifically as it pertained to union activities," said Ross. "In 2011, federal employees spent roughly 3.4 million hours -- at a cost of $155 million to the taxpayer -- conducting union business while on duty. At a time when our country is more than $16 trillion in debt, we need to ensure that we are cutting all wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars, no matter for which political side the union employees are advocating."

"During these tough economic times, Rep. Ross and I believe Congress must account for every taxpayer dollar spent," said Gingrey. "Addressing government-wide use of official time would improve oversight of taxpayer dollars and create more efficiency in the federal workforce. To that end, we've introduced two pieces of legislation that will help restore fiscal responsibility, increase transparency, and end the union practice of draining public coffers for political gain."

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