SEC Budget Released



Congressional leaders released the final funding package for FY 2024, which funds the remaining six bills at levels consistent with the bipartisan budget agreement.  The House plans to vote on the package tomorrow, but Senate action may not occur until the weekend leading to a partial government shutdown tomorrow at midnight.

Funding is set to expire tomorrow night at midnight for agencies and programs funded by the Defense, Financial Services, Homeland Security, Labor-HHS-Education, Legislative Branch and State-Foreign Operations appropriations bills unless Congress acts.  NTEU agencies funded by the package include Treasury—including IRS, CBP, FLETC, DoD, HHS, FEC, FCC, SEC, and SSA.

Overnight congressional leaders released the bill text for the funding package. Highlights include:

$2.1 billion for SEC, the same as FY 2023, and $149 million more than the House majority’s bill.

A continued ban on new outsourcing activities under OMB Circular A-76.

A requirement for OMB to report on telework including the average number and percent of employees present in the office on a given day during any two-week pay period; metrics for measuring teleworking employee productivity levels; agency efforts to reduce its office footprint; and cost of total office space.

The final bill does not include troubling provisions that were in the House majority bills that would have:

Forced employees to return to pre-pandemic levels of telework;

Prohibited the implementation of Executive Orders related to Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion;

Prohibited insurance plans in the FEHBP from covering the cost of gender-affirming care; and

Prohibited investment options in the TSP that make investment decisions based on environmental, social, or governance criteria.

The House is planning to vote on the bill tomorrow morning. Then the Senate will consider the bill, but procedural challenges could delay passage before midnight, leaving the risk of a partial government shutdown. That said, even if this drags out past midnight, federal agencies subject to a funding lapse on Saturday are likely to see minimal real impacts since the Senate is expected to pass the bill and the President is expected to sign it within the next few days. However, in the meantime, some workers could receive furlough notices.

It is of course absurd that we are once again at the brink of a partial government shutdown — even a short one.  We must all remain engaged to ensure Congress acts quickly to pass this funding package.