WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Marsha Blackburn (R-Tenn.) today introduced the Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act, which would require all executive agencies to return to remote work policies practiced prior to the COVID-19 public health emergency. It would also require the Office of Personnel Management to certify that any expanded telework policies will positively affect the agency’s mission, productivity, and operational costs prior to implementation.
The SHOW UP Act is co-sponsored by Senators Kevin Cramer (R-N.D.), Rick Scott (R-Fla.), Marco Rubio (R-Fla.), Bill Hagerty (R-Tenn.), Mike Braun (R-Ind.), and Steve Daines (R-Mont.). It is the Senate companion bill to Congressman James Comer’s (R-Ky.) legislation that passed the House on February 1st by a vote of 221-206.
“As the public health emergency officially ends in the United States, so should the pandemic-era telework policies for federal bureaucrats,” said Senator Blackburn. “I regularly hear from Tennesseans struggling to get ahold of a federal agency because of the massive backlog created by employees not being in the workplace. It’s illogical that VA employees are able to work from a bubble bath, while organizations across the country have safely re-opened. The SHOW UP Act would help restore accountability and productivity within the federal government, and I urge the Senate to promptly join the House in passing it.”
“Executive agencies have used the COVID-19 pandemic as an excuse for laziness for too long. Our public servants should be doing just that – serving the public,” said Senator Cramer. “Our bill ensures they come back to the office to do the work American taxpayers expect from them.”
“I’ve spent my life leading organizations of every shape and size. I know from firsthand experience the importance of having an effective and dedicated team that shows up to work. It’s clear that the COVID-era telework policy of the federal government is both a waste of taxpayer dollars and inefficient. It’s time to change Washington so it actually works for the American people, which means federal employees need to work from their offices. The Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems Act will boost productivity and accountably of all federal agencies. This is common sense and I urge my colleagues to join us in supporting this good bill,” said Senator Rick Scott.
“The COVID-19 pandemic is over. It is time to get back to work. For far too long, federal employees have enjoyed unchecked remote work at the expense of constituent services. The SHOW UP Act will ensure that federal employees show up in person, every day to serve the American people,” said Senator Rubio.
“Federal agencies are tasked with serving American taxpayers, and until their employees return to work, agencies cannot fulfill this mission to the best of their abilities,” said Senator Hagerty. “The pandemic is over, and farmers seeking assistance at a local Farm Service Agency office or veterans at the VA deserve service to match.”
“The Biden Administration has showered the federal workforce with lavish perks, pay raises, and enhanced pandemic-era telework policies. At a time when Americans are struggling to make ends meet, the expansion of telework crippled the ability of departments and agencies to fulfill their missions and created massive citizen service backlogs. Congress has a responsibility to ensure the federal government is providing the American people with the best possible service. The SHOW UP Act, which will require the federal workforce to return to pre-pandemic levels of telework, passed the House with bipartisan support earlier this year. Republicans and Democrats recognize that this legislation offers a much-needed solution to this problem, and I look forward to working with Senator Blackburn to get this legislation across the finish line,” said Congressman James Comer.
Specifically, the SHOW UP Act requires:
- Requires federal agencies to return to 2019 (December 31, 2019 benchmark) pre-pandemic telework levels within 30 days;
- Requires federal agencies to complete and submit to Congress studies within six months detailing how pandemic-era telework levels impacted their missions—including adverse effects on customer service, network security, and costs for real property and locality pay; and
- Prevents federal agencies from permanently expanding telework without submitting to Congress telework plans certified by the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) that detail how remote work policies will:
- Substantially improve agency mission-performance;
- Substantially lower agency costs for real property and locality pay;
- Ensure security for agency networks, data and records;
- Accelerate the dispersal of federal jobs nationwide and outside of Washington, D.C.
Click here for bill text.