Jessica Klement, vice president of advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, discusses the impact the new Congress will have on the federal workforce, and what it will take to bring the new lawmakers up to speed.
In the 116th Congress, the House of Representatives has a strong Democratic majority, while the Senate retains its Republican leaning. These new faces in Washington will need to learn about the federal workforce. Jessica Klement, vice president of advocacy at the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association, says the organization is more than happy to educate the freshman lawmakers. “A lot of the members elected sometimes need reminding that federal employees and retirees live and work in every congressional district. If they are on one of the committees of jurisdiction, chances are they already have a broad overview, but they may have some opinions and we’ll want check in to get their thoughts on the federal community.” Klement says that during the lame duck session, Congress must resolve a few issues. “For the lame duck, the biggest issue is the pay raise; will the federal employees get a pay raise in January? This is one of those issues that is still languishing, because House and Senate Republicans and Democrats haven’t been able to move forward with the conference report on the minibus that has the pay raise in it.”