Representative Mike Kelly (R-PA) issued the following statement today after he introduced H.R. 2579, the Government Employee Accountability Act, in the House of Representatives. The legislation would give all federal agencies the mechanisms necessary for agency heads to deal with Senior Executive Service (SES) employees, including the ability to conduct "investigative leave without pay" and to carry out immediate termination. This bill was introduced with 21 original co-sponsors.
"There is no doubt that the federal government has allowed itself to lose the faith and trust of the American people. The past few months of news have only solidified the public's worst frustrations and suspicions about those entrusted with positions of power in Washington. Beneath all of the recent scandals is the fact that for too long too many federal employees have had the luxury of playing by different rules than hardworking men and women in the private sector outside of Washington. This problem must end, and the Government Employee Accountability Act would help accomplish this.
"I originally introduced this legislation last year after news broke that General Services Administration regional commissioner Jeff Neely spent $900,000 of taxpayer money on a lavish conference in Las Vegas. After the agency informed me that Mr. Neely was still being paid because no mechanism existed for the agency to revoke his salary, I introduced legislation that would have fixed this problem and it passed the House by a bipartisan vote of 402-2.
"Despite the Senate never acting on last year's bill, the recent abuses of federal power and the shocking lack of accountability on the part of high-ranking bureaucrats like Lois Lerner and Steve Miller demand that action be taken. The Government Employee Accountability Act, which I proudly re-introduced this morning, would, among other things, allow the Obama administration to stop those under investigation from receiving salaries paid for by the very public whose trust they abused. I look forward to it being supported again in the House and expect the Senate to responsibly consider it."