Omnibus Appropriations Bill Signed Into Law


3/12/09: Yesterday President Obama signed into law the FY ‘09 Omnibus Appropriations Act which contains funding for key NTEU-represented agencies as well as important NTEU- supported provisions on contracting out.

The bill provides a total of $11.5 billion in funding for the IRS, including $5.1 billion for enforcement and $2.3 billion for taxpayer services. The $11.5 billion in overall funding represents an increase of $428 million above FY ’08 levels. In addition, the package provides an additional $352 million for the Food and Drug Administration, $37 million for the Securities and Exchange Commission, and $100 million for the Social Security Administration aimed at aiding the agency in reducing a growing backlog of disability claims.

The omnibus legislation also includes important NTEU-supported provisions on contracting out. First, the bill contains a one-year government-wide ban on all new public-private job competitions, also known as A-76 studies and requires federal agencies to establish guidelines for insourcing new functions and functions currently being performed by contractors.

NTEU believes that these provisions, coupled with recent actions by Congress to exclude health care and retirement benefits from the cost comparison process and provide federal workers the right to protest adverse decisions, will help bring much needed fairness to the public-private competition process.

Second, the bill prohibits appropriated funds from being used to support the IRS’s private tax collection program. Prohibiting funding for the program was part of NTEU’s campaign to end the program which came to a successful conclusion on March 5 when the IRS announced it would not renew its contracts with two private debt collection agencies.