Senate Panel Approves Bill To Withhold Bonuses From Criminal Feds

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Thomas Phippen Associate Editor
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A bill that bans federal employees from receiving bonuses if they violate policy or commit a crime is going through the Senate.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee voted unanimously Wednesday to send the Stop Improper Federal Bonuses Act to the Senate floor for a vote.

Under the bill’s current form, any federal employee who has been suspended for more than 14 days for violating agency policy would be unable to receive a bonus for five years. If an employee broke the law and was sentenced to more than one year in prison, they would not be allowed to receive a bonus for five years either.

As the bill worked its way through the committee, one Senator added an additional punishment. An employee who is convicted of a crime or punished within a year of getting a bonus would have to repay it in full, according to an amendment offered by Delaware Democrat Sen. Tom Carper.

Nebraska Republican Sen. Deb Fischer, who proposed the legislation, put the purpose of the bill simply in a statement: “Federal employees who have broken the law or who engage in serious misconduct should not receive bonus pay.”

“This should be a cut-and-dried issue,” Democratic Missouri Sen. Claire McCaskill, one of the bill’s cosponsors, said in a statement. “If you’ve taken actions that could get you suspended, fired, or even thrown into jail, you shouldn’t get a bonus. This bill would help to protect taxpayer dollars from being used to pad the pockets of irresponsible government employees.”

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