ENSURING A QUALIFIED CIVIL SERVICE ACT OF 2017; Congressional Record Vol. 163, No. 195
(House of Representatives - November 30, 2017)

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[Pages H9547-H9559]
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             ENSURING A QUALIFIED CIVIL SERVICE ACT OF 2017


                             GENERAL LEAVE

  Mr. COMER. Mr. Speaker, I ask unanimous consent that all Members may 
have 5 legislative days within which to revise and extend their remarks 
and include extraneous material on H.R. 4182.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore (Mr. Shimkus). Is there objection to the 
request of the gentleman from Kentucky?
  There was no objection.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to House Resolution 635 and rule 
XVIII, the Chair declares the House in the Committee of the Whole House 
on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill, H.R. 4182.
  The Chair appoints the gentleman from Idaho (Mr. Simpson) to preside 
over the Committee of the Whole.

                              {time}  1518


                     In the Committee of the Whole

  Accordingly, the House resolved itself into the Committee of the 
Whole House on the state of the Union for the consideration of the bill 
(H.R. 4182) to amend title 5, United States Code, to modify 
probationary periods with respect to positions within the competitive 
service and the Senior Executive Service, and for other purposes, with 
Mr. Simpson in the chair.
  The Clerk read the title of the bill.
  The CHAIR. Pursuant to the rule, the bill is considered read the 
first time.
  General debate shall not exceed 1 hour equally divided and controlled 
by the chair and ranking minority member of the Committee on Oversight 
and Government Reform.
  The gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Comer) and the gentleman from 
Virginia (Mr. Connolly) each will control 30 minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Kentucky.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, highly skilled Federal employees are essential to a 
government that serves its citizens. Skilled Federal workers ensure 
that functions of government, from delivering mail to protecting the 
homeland, are carried out successfully.
  Federal jobs and the skills required to perform them vary 
significantly across government. Some employees review patents, some 
work in human resources, and others work in law enforcement.
  While the jobs, skills, and training required may be different from 
job to job, the expectation that the Federal Government hires qualified 
candidates is universal.
  One tool agencies and managers have to ensure a qualified workforce 
is the probationary period--a period of time used to evaluate whether a 
new hire

[[Page H9548]]

can effectively perform the duties of the position.
  Under current law, most new hires are required to complete a 
probationary period of 1 year before receiving full employment status. 
Most new employees complete the probationary period and are hired as 
permanent employees.
  New employees who fail to demonstrate that they are a good fit for 
the position, however, are transitioned out of government during the 
probationary period, but the current 1-year trial period is not 
sufficient for complex Federal occupations. Potential employees deserve 
ample time to learn about the job and demonstrate they are able to 
perform all critical aspects of a Federal position, and supervisors 
deserve ample time to evaluate new hires.
  What is a manager supposed to do in this case? Does the supervisor 
take a gamble and offer permanent status to an untested employee or 
risk missing out on a potentially skilled employee? This is a real 
dilemma. Supervisors throughout the Federal workforce have described 
this exact scenario in their advocacy for this bill.
  According to the Government Managers Coalition, managers tend to err 
on the side of releasing borderline employees in cases like this, and 
it can be a very frustrating decision for them to make. They have 
already devoted a significant amount of time and resources into 
training the new hire.
  However, managers would rather not risk hiring an employee who is on 
the fence at the end of a probationary period. This is because a 
manager is pretty much stuck with an employee after the probationary 
period. It is difficult to remove a permanent employee for poor 
performance or misconduct.
  According to the Government Accountability Office, the procedural 
hurdles to removing a permanent employee can take from 6 months to 1 
year. The evidence is clear, the probationary period needs to be 
extended.
  In 2015, the GAO reported that chief human capital officers 
throughout the Federal Government would benefit from an extension of 
the probationary period, especially in occupations which are complex or 
difficult to assess. Federal manager groups have been asking for a 
longer probationary period for years.
  In congressional testimony earlier this year, the national president 
of the Federal Managers Association, Renee Johnson said: ``FMA 
advocates extending the probationary period. This would benefit both 
the government and employees by allowing supervisors to make decisions 
based on the employees' performance as fully trained employees--not 
just guessing at how they will perform after the training is 
completed.''
  The Government Managers Coalition, a group of five organizations that 
represent the interests of over 200,000 supervisors, managers, and 
executives serving throughout the Federal Government, supports an 
extension of the probationary period.
  I include in the Record a letter of support from the Government 
Managers Coalition signed by the heads of the FAA Managers Association, 
Federal Managers Association, Professional Managers Association, 
National Council of Social Security Management Associations, and Senior 
Executives Association; and a letter from the Professional Managers 
Association.

                                Government Managers Coalition,

                                                November 29, 2017.
     United States Congress,
     Washington, DC.
       Dear Representative: We write on behalf of the Government 
     Managers Coalition (GMC), which is comprised of five major 
     federal sector professional associations collectively 
     representing the interests of over 200,000 supervisors, 
     managers, and executives serving throughout the federal 
     government.
       Our coalition is supportive of H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a 
     Qualified Civil Service Act of 2017 (the EQUALS Act), 
     introduced by Representative James Comer. We appreciate Rep. 
     Comer's efforts to take the lead on this important 
     legislation and the consideration earlier this month by the 
     House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The GMC has 
     advocated for an extended probationary period for over a 
     decade. We encourage you to support the measure when it comes 
     to the floor later this week.
       The EQUALS Act would grant agencies the authority to extend 
     the probationary period for competitive service appointments 
     and supervisors. In addition, this legislation would align 
     appointments under competitive and senior executive service 
     with the two-year trial period served under excepted service 
     appointments, bringing consistency to hiring throughout 
     government.
       Extension of the probationary period is supported by a 2015 
     Government Accountability Office (GAO) report, GAO-15-191. 
     Chief Human Capital Officers (CHCO) commented to GAO that 
     often supervisors within federal departments and agencies are 
     not given sufficient time to accurately review performance 
     before the probationary period is complete. The CHCO 
     recommended an extension of the probationary period to the 
     GAO in order to accurately assess an employee's abilities in 
     the federal workforce. In addition, Congress has already 
     approved a two-year probationary period for employees at the 
     Department of Defense, as part of the Fiscal Year 2016 
     National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), P.L. 114-92.
       The GMC's mission is to promote good government initiatives 
     that foster effectiveness and efficiency throughout the 
     federal government. We believe that this legislation will 
     allow employees sufficient time on the job to demonstrate 
     their abilities as well as allow for proper assessment. The 
     measure will also ensure that supervisors have the 
     opportunity and authority to fulfill their performance 
     management responsibilities that may not be feasible under 
     the current one-year probationary period.
       The current one-year probationary period is often 
     insufficient to assess an employee's performance in more 
     technical and complex jobs, of which there are many in the 
     federal government, and may in fact place an employee at risk 
     of termination before having had the opportunity to 
     effectively demonstrate their abilities. The reality is that 
     many technical jobs require agency classroom training, 
     mentoring and on-the-job training for employees to become 
     proficient. Often, the supervisor does not see the employee 
     during those times, and is unable to observe the employee's 
     performance. In front-line public service roles, such as with 
     the Social Security Administration (SSA) or the Internal 
     Revenue Service (IRS), employees must not only learn 
     material, but also need to be able to effectively interact 
     with citizens. The EQUALS Act would ensure that employees are 
     provided with the opportunity to not only receive training, 
     but also to effectively demonstrate their abilities. 
     Extending the probationary period will in no way penalize an 
     employee who is performing well and progressing in their 
     training and responsibilities.
       The GMC would appreciate your support of this legislation. 
     In light of ongoing agency reorganization efforts, it is now 
     more important than ever to ensure federal managers making 
     personnel decisions have a comprehensive toolset available 
     that represents both flexibility for agencies and fairness 
     for affected federal employees. We look forward to passage of 
     this legislation, as well as other commonsense federal 
     workforce reform bills resulting in an improved federal 
     government that can better serve the American public. Should 
     you require additional information or want to discuss this 
     issue further, please contact Rachel A. Emmons with the 
     National Council of Social Security Management Associations 
     (NCSSMA).
           Sincerely,
     Andy Taylor,
       President, FAA Managers Association.
      Renee M. Johnson,
       President, Federal Managers Association.
     Thomas R. Burger,
       Executive Director, Professional Managers Association.
     Christopher Detzler,
       President, National Council of Social Security, Management 
     Association.
     Bill Valdez,
       President, Senior Executives Association.
                                  ____



                            Professional Managers Association,

                                Washington, DC, November 29, 2017.
       Dear Representative: The Professional Managers Association 
     (PMA) represents the interests of professional managers, 
     management officials, and non-bargaining unit employees in 
     the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) and other federal 
     agencies. On behalf of PMA's members, I write in support of 
     H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service Act of 2017 
     (the EQUALS Act), introduced by Representative James Comer, 
     and to offer a specific example--Revenue Agents at the IRS--
     for an example of a federal job that would benefit from an 
     extended probationary period. PMA also signed onto a letter 
     with our colleagues with the Government Managers Coalition 
     (GMC) expressing our collective support for the EQUALS Act.
       Following their hiring, IRS Revenue Agents go through an 
     extensive training process that includes classes in tax law 
     and procedures. They begin by learning the basics and the 
     laws that deal with individuals, starting with several weeks 
     of classroom training before moving on to work on actual 
     cases in taxpayer service. After that, they move onto 
     Schedule Cs and Partnerships, following the same process, but 
     with less time spent in the classroom. They then return to 
     the field or office for on-the job training with those types 
     of cases. Once they have completed this portion of training, 
     they are assigned to an office where they receive an 
     inventory of cases to work on. At this time, they are 
     evaluated on each case they close.

[[Page H9549]]

       All of this is just within the first year of training. In 
     year two--if they are lucky--the agent will be sent to 
     classes for small and then large corporations. Once the 
     classroom training is completed, they are assigned more 
     training cases. Again, each case closed is rated and 
     evaluated based on all aspects: tax law interpretation, case 
     write up, meet and deal qualities, etc.
       There should also be managerial mentoring completed during 
     this training process. The manager is meant to go on visits 
     to observe how the agent deals with the taxpayer and how they 
     are doing with regards to case write-ups. Yet, while managers 
     are intended to be involved throughout the training process, 
     many are spread extremely thin and may be forced to make a 
     decision not in the best interest of the government or the 
     agent. A longer probationary period would give managers more 
     time to make an accurate decision on whether or not an 
     individual is able to perform the necessary duties of an 
     efficient, effective agent.
       Two years of training is a very costly process, but it is 
     costlier to make a hasty decision and keep an employee that 
     would not be an asset to the organization or would be unable 
     to best serve the public. I urge Members to support the 
     EQUALS Act.
           Sincerely,
                                                 Thomas R. Burger,
                                               Executive Director.

  Mr. COMER. In the letter, the coalition members write that they have 
``advocated for an extended probationary period for over a decade,'' 
and that this legislation will allow employees sufficient time on the 
job to demonstrate their abilities as well as allow for proper 
assessment.
  The individuals they represent see the difficulties associated with 
the current system in their day-to-day lives. They understand the 
problems associated with the arbitrary nature of the current 1-year 
probationary period.
  The EQUALS Act addresses these problems and moves toward a system 
better suited for the modern workforce. The bill will extend the 
probationary period for new hires in the competitive service and 
initial appointments for managers to 2 years after the completion of 
formal training or licensure.
  The concept of a 2-year probationary period is not new. Congress 
extended the probationary period for new hires at the Department of 
Defense to 2 years in 2015. This bill brings the rest of the government 
in line with the Department of Defense standards. The EQUALS Act also 
recognizes the variety of positions and training requirements 
throughout the Federal Government. The EQUALS Act requires the 2-year 
period to begin upon the conclusion of the formal training or licensure 
process.
  This is important, because under current law, time spent in training 
counts against the probationary period. This means that a Federal job 
with long training, by the time a probationary employee completes the 
training, the supervisor often has little or no time to evaluate the 
employee's performance.
  For example, training for new hires at the Internal Revenue Service 
takes 1 year. By the time a new IRS employee completes training, the 
manager has to make a decision whether to keep the employee without 
having seen the employee do the job.
  As Ms. Johnson testified before Congress: ``New employees must often 
master broad and complex policies and procedures to meet their 
agencies' missions, necessitating several months of formal training 
followed by long periods of on-the-job instruction. In occupations 
where training takes substantial time, supervisors may only have a few 
months of work to judge employees' performance.''
  According to data from the Office of Personnel Management, most 
formal training programs last less than 1 month. For those positions, 
the inclusion of formal training in the probationary period does not do 
any harm.
  However, for those positions that have long training periods, the 
EQUALS Act will make a big difference. The EQUALS Act also helps ensure 
managers are doing their jobs. Under the bill, agencies must notify 
supervisors prior to the completion of a probationary period so that 
the supervisor is reminded to make a decision about a probationary 
employee.
  The bill also requires agencies to certify that an employee has 
successfully completed a probationary period and to provide 
justification for that decision.
  Mr. Chairman, in closing, I want to make sure we are clear about what 
the EQUALS Act does and does not do. The EQUALS Act does not remove or 
change any due process rights for probationary period employees. 
Probationary employees will still have due process protections. 
Probationary employees have access to the Equal Employment Opportunity 
Commission, the Merit Systems Protection Board, and the Office of 
Special Counsel. Each of those offices are empowered to hear appeals 
from probationary employees, and that will not change when H.R. 4182 
becomes law.
  This bill is a much-needed fix to the Federal hiring process. It will 
allow the Federal Government to select the best and brightest civil 
servants to serve the American people.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge my colleagues to support the bill, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a 
Qualified Civil Service Act. This bill potentially weakens the Federal 
civil service by increasing the probationary period for career civil 
servants and those in the Senior Executive Service from 1 year to 2 
years.
  I might add, almost no private sector company I know of would have a 
2-year probationary period because they know it would make it hard to 
recruit talented employees.
  Unlike what has just been said in terms of protections that remain in 
place, during the probationary period, Federal employees have very 
little due process or appeal rights if disciplinary action is taken 
against them, and the action we would take today would be to extend 
those diluted rights instead of providing them with robust rights of 
every civil servant beyond the probationary period. They can be fired 
without notice. They have limited rights to an attorney or 
representative, and they generally may not appeal their removal.
  Due process protections are critical to ensuring the integrity of the 
Federal civil service. In fact, that is the very heart of having a 
professional civil service.
  These protections help prevent the politicalization of the workforce 
and protect whistleblowers from retaliation, which our committee, the 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, has passionately documented 
as a very real danger in the past.
  The Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service Act is a solution in search of 
a problem. The Oversight and Government Reform Committee has not held 
one single hearing to determine whether extending the probationary 
period an additional year for every single Federal job in the 
competitive and Senior Executive Service is something that agencies 
need or want to help them better manage their workforce. Not a single 
hearing, and this would have a profound impact on every Federal agency.

                              {time}  1530

  In February of 2016, the Government Accountability Office issued a 
report which my friend from Kentucky cited at the request of the 
chairman of the Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental 
Affairs. The request asked GAO to examine the rules and trends relating 
to the review and dismissal of employees for poor performance. Now 
supporters of this bill are using this report as a basis for extending 
the probationary periods of Federal civil service employees; however, 
nothing in this report calls for doing that. In fact, the title of the 
report is ``Improved Supervision and Better Use of Probationary Periods 
Are Needed to Address Substandard Employee Performance.'' The focus 
ought to be, the GAO says, on improving the supervision of the 
probationary period we have in place.
  In conducting its study, GAO found that supervisors do not always 
have the skills necessary to do that and help address employee 
performance issues during the probationary period. GAO also found that 
supervisors sometimes do not even use the probationary period to make 
performance-related decisions about an employee's ability to do their 
job and may not always know when the probationary period even ends.
  The report's recommendations were mainly focused on ensuring 
qualified supervisors have the training and skills they need to deal 
with poor performers

[[Page H9550]]

and making better use of the existing probation period for all new 
employees.
  Instead of focusing on addressing the gaps identified by GAO and 
encouraging agencies to implement the recommendations made in that 
report, Congress is now attacking Federal employees and the merit-based 
system.
  I am especially concerned about the bill's impact on recruiting the 
workforce of the future. Currently, 40 percent of the current Federal 
workforce is either eligible for retirement or soon will be--40 
percent. Federal agencies need to be able to recruit their replacements 
and get the requisite skill sets we need for these challenging jobs, 
just like the private sector is challenged with that.
  Extending the probationary period to 2 years, governmentwide, creates 
a climate of more uncertainty, less protection, and diminishes, 
clearly, the attraction of Federal service for many people, especially 
those whom we want to be attracted to the civil service, especially 
millennials.
  Some of my colleagues have referenced the 2-year probationary period 
for Department of Defense civilian employees enacted in the NDAA, the 
National Defense Authorization Act of last fiscal year. They argue that 
it should serve as precedent for the rest of the Federal Government.
  There are a few things I need to point out about that. First, the 
Department of Defense did not request an extension of the probationary 
period or even indicate a need for it. Second, now that the 2-year 
probationary period for civilian defense employees has been enacted, 
the Department isn't even making use of this new authority.
  According to the former Acting Under Secretary of Defense for 
Personnel and Readiness, Peter Levine, who testified before the Senate 
Armed Services Committee in March of this year on civilian personnel 
reform, ``the Department has done little to take advantage of that 
legislation.''
  Mr. Levine also warned that changing the law to address a small 
number of problem employees could hurt recruitment and retention and 
worker productivity. He stated: ``If legislation that is intended to 
address a problem with 1 percent of the workforce is perceived as 
threatening and hostile by the other 99 percent, it may undermine 
morale and reduce the Department's ability to attract and retain the 
capable employees that it needs. The civilian workforce will not become 
more productive if problems with a small number of poor performers is 
addressed with measures that are perceived as a declaration of war on 
all employees.''
  In closing, 2 weeks ago, Congress passed legislation that would pave 
the way toward evidence-based policymaking, and we all supported that. 
For the sake of consistency, if nothing else, ought we not see the 
evidence of whether lengthening the probationary period is materially 
different and what impacts, both positive and negative, it would have 
for Federal agencies and employees?
  Absent such evidence and careful study, I certainly am not willing to 
take the risk that this bill will not do more harm to both agencies' 
ability to recruit and retain qualified employees and that it would not 
be used to arbitrarily punish hardworking Federal employees.
  However, if the GAO studies the impact of this policy at DOD and 
finds that this new policy has been wonderful for morale and has indeed 
improved employee performance and helps employee recruitment, then sign 
me up. But I do think we ought to rely on data and hearings before the 
requisite committee when making such a major change to how we manage 
our Federal workforce.
  I plan on offering an amendment, Mr. Chairman, that would arm us with 
the information we need to make an evidence-based decision regarding an 
extension of the probationary period of the Federal workforce, which is 
what we ought to be doing before consideration of this bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I include in the Record statements in opposition or 
expressing deep concern about this legislation from the American 
Federation of Government Employees; the International Federation of 
Professional & Technical Engineers; the National Treasury Employees 
Union; and a group of organizations, including the Government 
Accountability Project, the Liberty Coalition, the Project on 
Government Oversight, Public Citizen, and Taxpayers Protection 
Alliance.

                                            American Federation of


                                Government Employees, AFL-CIO,

                                Washington, DC, November 28, 2017.
       Dear Representative: On behalf of the American Federation 
     of Government Employees, AFL-CIO (AFGE), which represents 
     approximately 700,000 federal and District of Columbia 
     employees, in more than 70 agencies across the nation, I 
     strongly urge you to oppose H.R. 4182, the ``Ensuring a 
     Qualified Civil Service Act of 2017,'' introduced by 
     Representative James Comer (R-KY) when it comes to the floor 
     this week. If enacted, this legislation would arbitrarily 
     extend the probation period for a minimum of two years for 
     newly hired federal employees. AFGE opposes this legislation 
     as it does not address any issues surrounding employee 
     performance evaluation or management's ability to properly 
     evaluate employees during the probation period. Instead, all 
     it will do is penalize federal workers and weaken their due 
     process rights.
       The extension of probation periods for competitive service 
     federal employees from one year to two years is unnecessary 
     and damaging to due process and the merit system. Candidates 
     for federal jobs are put through an extensive selection 
     process prior to being hired and one year is sufficient time 
     for a competent manager to determine if a new employee has 
     the ability to accomplish the duties for which he or she was 
     hired.
       Specifically, H.R. 4182 would extend the probation period 
     to a minimum of two years after completion of a ``formal 
     training'' program or after the date on which a required 
     license is granted. Such a change could leave employees in 
     probation limbo for many years. For example, government 
     agencies require initial training for prolonged periods of 
     time that could result in employees serving three to five 
     year probation periods, or longer. Employees should not be 
     subject to an almost perpetual state of probation because of 
     comprehensive agency training, certification or licensing 
     programs.
       Additionally, extending the probation period reduces the 
     due process rights of employees. While on probation, 
     employees have few civil service protections and almost no 
     appeal rights in the event of an adverse action. Civil 
     service protections and the merit system exist to protect the 
     government from politicization. Without these rights, 
     employees on probation will have little to no protection 
     against discrimination and employer retaliation and more 
     exposure to termination not based on cause, but rather 
     arbitrary and unjust reasons.
       Extending the probation period does not solve any problems 
     regarding poor performance. Supervisors should be responsible 
     and held accountable for identifying and addressing issues of 
     poor performance of new employees quickly and efficiently. 
     Supervisors need better training to manage new employees. 
     Extending the probation period does nothing to better train 
     supervisors nor does it provide any accountability for 
     supervisors to effectively manage new employees.
       Please Vote NO on H.R. 4182, ``Ensuring a Qualified Civil 
     Service Act of 2017.''
           Sincerely,
                                                   Thomas S. Kahn,
     Director, Legislative Affairs.
                                  ____

         International Federation of Professional & Technical 
           Engineers, AFL-CIO & CLC,
                                Washington, DC, November 27, 2017.
       Dear Representative: As behalf of the International 
     Federation of Professional and Technical Engineers (IFPTE), 
     representing upwards of 90,000 workers, including tens of 
     thousands of federal employees, I am writing regarding H.R. 
     4182, the so-called Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service Act of 
     2017. This bill has been scheduled for full house 
     consideration this week and IFPTE urges you to oppose it.
       H.R. 4182 aims to extend the probationary period for 
     federal civilian workers from one year to a minimum of two 
     years. Under this bill, the probation period would not 
     necessarily begin at the time a federal worker arrives for 
     their first day of work. Rather, the period would, ``end on 
     the date that is 2 years after the date on which such formal 
     training is completed.'' This is also true for federal jobs 
     that require a license, in which the probationary clock would 
     not start ticking until the license is achieved. In other 
     words, probations for many federal workers under this 
     legislation will be longer than two years, and dramatically 
     more than the current 1 year period.
       IFPTE is opposed to this bill for several reasons. First, 
     this legislation is punitive in nature and serves no logical 
     policy objective. For example, it does nothing to address 
     performance issues, as supporters of this bill will 
     erroneously argue, and is silent on addressing the ongoing 
     challenges that management faces in properly evaluating new 
     employees, regardless of whether the probationary period is 
     for one year, or two years. For example, this past March 
     former Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and 
     Readiness, Peter Levine, testified in the Senate regarding 
     the DOD's use of their new two-year probationary period for 
     federal workers. Mr. Levine testified that even though 
     managers at the DOD were granted two years to determine if a 
     newly hired DOD civilian employee should stay or go, that 
     authority is rarely, if ever used.
       Unfortunately, this is yet another in a long list of bills 
     from this Congress that attempts

[[Page H9551]]

     to legislate good management, while creating more useless and 
     unnecessary requirements that end up costing taxpayers more 
     money. It is illogical to think that a manager who will not 
     act on a problem employee within one year of being hired 
     would act within two years. Mr. Levine's testimony confirms 
     as much. Federal managers already have the authority to 
     discipline and ultimately fire employees, BUT they actually 
     need to use the many authorities they already have to do so.
       IFPTE believes that one year is more than enough time for 
     managers to determine whether a newly hired employee can 
     perform their job. Instead of creating more bureaucracy, as 
     this bill will do, Congress should simply require managers to 
     use the flexibilities they currently have, including the one 
     year probationary period, to retain or release federal 
     workers who have yet to fulfill their probationary periods. 
     Please vote against H.R. 4182.
       Thank you for your consideration.
           Sincerely,
                                              Gregory J. Junemann,
     President.
                                  ____

                                             The National Treasury


                                              Employees Union,

                                                November 28, 2017.
       Dear Representative: As National President of the National 
     Treasury Employees Union, representing over 150,000 federal 
     employees in 31 different agencies, I am writing to express 
     NTEU's opposition to H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a Qualified 
     Civil Service Act of 2017 or the EQUALS Act of 2017, which 
     would drastically extend the probationary period for 
     individuals hired into the competitive service from one year 
     to two years, reflecting changes in policy based on a handful 
     of individual instances of concern that would--and can be--
     much better handled by improved management than by changing 
     the law. With respect to any position that requires formal 
     training, the two-year time period would begin after the 
     required formal training. Given how limited an employee's due 
     process rights and a labor organization's representational 
     abilities are during the probationary period, NTEU believes 
     that the current one year is the proper time period for 
     agency management to assess and determine whether the 
     individual is suitable for the position and capable of 
     performing its duties. It is also important to recognize that 
     the end of a probationary period does not mean that an 
     employee cannot be disciplined or removed. It merely allows 
     the employee to challenge such actions that are done without 
     merit. Well trained managers can and do impose disciplinary 
     and adverse actions that stand up to such challenges. In 
     fact, in 2015, the Government Accountability Office found 
     that the probationary period of one year was not working, for 
     the most part, because those in supervisory positions are 
     only there for a higher grade, that no one had trained the 
     supervisor in how to supervise people, or that agencies are 
     not properly using the probationary periods for supervisors 
     who are not up to the task. Therefore, we question why this 
     bill is necessary when, instead, increased and improved 
     supervisor training is what is needed. NTEU has long 
     supported and advocated Congress enacting federal supervisor 
     training.
       NTEU strongly opposes subjecting frontline federal 
     employees--who are not tasked with managing agencies and 
     long-term strategic responsibilities--to longer durations of 
     assessment that preclude due process and collective 
     bargaining rights. By extending the probationary period, the 
     federal workforce essentially becomes an at will workforce, 
     with limited rights and protections. In fact, the lack of 
     these due process rights has a chilling effect on employee 
     use of the few protections they do have, namely protection 
     against discrimination, sexual harassment, and whistleblower 
     retaliation. Congress has long recognized and valued the 
     importance of these protections for federal employees, which 
     would be undermined by this bill.
       We also have significant outstanding questions about what 
     constitutes ``formal training'' under the bill as training 
     programs differ greatly by agency. NTEU represents a variety 
     of employees who undergo long periods of significant training 
     that occurs at multiple points in time (non-consecutive in 
     nature) and where the employee is already executing the 
     actual job in between training sessions.
       We are greatly concerned that the language in this bill 
     could translate into 3 or 4 year--or even indefinite--
     probationary periods for some of the employees we represent, 
     even though that may not be the intent. At this time, it is 
     unclear how agencies would categorize various types of 
     training that some of our members undergo under this new 
     definition. It is also important to note that for positions 
     that require extensive training, these individuals are 
     subject to ongoing evaluations by management during any 
     period of training.
       For all of these reasons, we strongly oppose H.R. 4182 and 
     urge you to vote against it.
           Sincerely,
                                               Anthony M. Reardon,
     National President.
                                  ____

     Hon. Paul Ryan,
     Speaker,
     Hon. Nancy Pelosi,
     Minority Leader, House of Representatives, Washington, DC.
       Dear Speaker Ryan and Minority Leader Pelosi: We are 
     writing to express our concerns that H.R. 4182, the EQUALS 
     Act of 2017, could undermine protection for government 
     employees who blow the whistle. The legislation extends the 
     probationary period for civil service employees from one to 
     two years.
       We recognize that the Whistleblower Protection Act (WPA) 
     covers probationary employees, and that there are provisions 
     in H.R. 4182 that directly address those rights. But 
     probationary employees already are at a handicap, because an 
     agency has almost unlimited discretion to defeat a 
     retaliation lawsuit through independent justification reasons 
     entirely within its discretion. Second, probationary 
     employees only have rights against partisan discrimination 
     and under Sec. 2302(b)(8). This means an extra year that they 
     will not be protected under the recently-enacted Follow the 
     Rules Act or under 5 USC 2302(b)(9)(D) when they refuse to 
     violate the law. The taxpayers could suffer the consequences.
       We request that the House of Representatives consider these 
     concerns before there is action on this legislation. The bill 
     states its goal is to strengthen government accountability. 
     Reducing whistleblower protection will undermine it.
           Respectfully submitted,
     Tom Devine,
       Government Accountability Project.
     Michael D. Ostrolenk,
       Liberty Coalition.
     Elizabeth Hempowicz,
       Project on Government Oversight.
     Shanna Devine,
       Public Citizen.
     David Williams,
       Taxpayers Protection Alliance.

  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
Michigan (Mrs. Lawrence).
  Mrs. LAWRENCE. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the EQUALS Act.
  As a former Federal employee, I served in many capacities, from a 
letter carrier to a manager, and I know the dedication of those who 
serve in our civil service jobs. This bill is an insult to Federal 
employees and is completely unnecessary.
  Mr. Chairman, I say this is a bill in search of a problem. What are 
we fixing?
  This is not good-government legislation. It just makes it easier to 
fire Federal employees without due process. By arbitrarily extending 
probationary periods, this bill takes away civil servants' employment 
rights and due process protections for at least 2 years.
  Mr. Chairman, do you realize that benefits that career employees are 
entitled to are held in abeyance while they are on probation? They are 
given a different classification as being probationary than they are as 
being a career employee.
  What are we trying to achieve?
  They also give up the right to receive 30 days' notice before they 
are fired or furloughed, and they do not receive their rights as 
whistleblowers as probationary employees. This bill simply takes away 
workers' rights.
  How many Members of Congress' parents worked as Federal employees to 
put them through college and to make a difference in America?
  Here we are assaulting the legacy of Federal employees who work every 
day to make this country an amazing place to live.
  This is not the way to address performance issues in the Federal 
workplace. As a Federal employee who had the responsibility to perform 
probationary evaluations, you need to talk to the supervisor if they 
are not doing their job conducting the proper evaluations.
  We must continue to support accountability measures and tools. In 
addition, we must keep the spotlight on gross mismanagement.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentlewoman from 
the District of Columbia (Ms. Norton), who is my dear friend.
  Ms. NORTON. Mr. Chairman, I thank my good friend from Virginia. He is 
doing a public service with his response to the bill that is coming 
forward today.
  Mr. Chairman, you can call this bill whatever you want, but it is not 
a reform bill. It creates a problem in order to get rid of it.
  Mr. Chairman, 0.18 percent is all of the employees who get dismissed. 
The sponsor must want more. Instead of taking that as an indication of 
the competency and of the excellence of Federal employees--under 1 
percent, only 0.18--there must be more to be

[[Page H9552]]

fired than that. The data shows the opposite.
  The Federal workforce has consistently been understood to be the best 
qualified public employees in the country however you look at them, 
particularly with their education and with their efforts.
  The first reason the sponsor gives for this bill is that managers 
``simply lose track of time and are unaware of the 1-year deadline 
approaching.''
  Whose competency should we be checking? Not the employees, surely. 
Management should be doing its job. They are paid big Federal bucks 
precisely for that.
  But they are paid to do something else. They are paid to observe. 
They are not observing if they are not even looking for the 1-year 
deadline wherein they could fire an employee.
  They are supposed to assist employees during that first year. They 
are supposed to help correct employees during that first year.
  What are they doing during that first year losing track of it? Who 
bears the burden is the employee who may be perfectly competent but 
wasn't receiving the assistance or the oversight to which she was 
entitled.
  We are moving without information that would help us understand if 
there is a problem. What is the reason for not calling witnesses to 
find out if there is a problem? Because if there is, then we ought to 
do something about it.
  We do know this: 36 percent of all the employees dismissed are 
dismissed in that first year. That would seem to indicate that maybe 
management is doing its job.
  Today's young workforce is always looking for better opportunities. 
Pass this bill, and you chase away the best and the brightest from even 
applying to work for the American people.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from 
California (Mr. DeSaulnier), who is a perspicacious member of the 
Oversight and Government Reform Committee, someone who grasps these 
issues fundamentally, and is my good friend.
  Mr. DeSAULNIER. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend from Virginia for 
those loquacious comments.
  Mr. Chairman, I rise today in opposition to H.R. 4182, the Ensuring a 
Qualified Civil Service Act.
  H.R. 4182 unnecessarily doubles the probationary period for Federal 
employees from 1 to 2 years. During this period, employees have 
essentially no due process rights and can be removed for any reason or 
no reason at all with no right to appeal.
  This is an arbitrary change to existing policy, and there is no 
evidence to suggest that extending the probationary period will address 
any issues surrounding employee performance or the department 
performance.
  Not only are candidates for Federal jobs already put through 
extensive selection processes, but a year is sufficient for any 
competent manager to determine the ability of any employee to 
accomplish the job that they have been hired to do.
  This bill will not improve agency outcomes but would penalize Federal 
workers by weakening their due process rights. Without due process, 
Federal employees will have little protection against employer 
discrimination and termination without cause.

  These due process rights are also critical to promoting equity, 
fairness, and ensuring that whistleblowers continue to speak up without 
fear of retaliation.
  It is also a clear attempt to undermine Federal employees' right to 
unionize since they would not be eligible to participate until their 
probationary period is over.
  We need evidence-based changes that value Federal employees, make 
their workplaces safe, protect them against sexual harassment and 
discrimination, and ensure that their voices are heard. I ask my 
colleagues to reject this shortsighted legislation.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I continue to reserve the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, could I inquire of the Chair the schedule 
on the amendments.
  The CHAIR. After general debate is completed, the Committee will 
proceed to the amendments.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. I thank the Chair for that clarification.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield 2 minutes to the gentleman from Maryland (Mr. 
Raskin), who is a professor and a very able member of the Committee on 
Oversight and Government Reform.

                              {time}  1545

  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Chair, I thank Mr. Connolly for his invitation, and I 
am delighted to be here to speak out against H.R. 4182, the so-called 
Ensuring a Qualified Civil Service Act.
  The first complaint I have got to lodge about it is the process by 
which it is taking place. This is a radical change in the civil service 
hiring policy and in the workplace without a hearing. I know we have 
grown accustomed to that, but let's just focus on the fact that here we 
are in the Nation's Capital and we have got all of the employees, 
managers, and supervisors, and everybody here, and we didn't even have 
a hearing to discuss why this might be necessary.
  Then it is passed on a completely party-line vote in the Oversight 
Committee, which leads to the suspicion that this has nothing to do 
with the integrity of the civil service or the excellence of the civil 
service, the things that we should be thinking about, but it has to do, 
in fact, with a partisan mission.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. RASKIN. I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Did my colleague just say there was not a single 
hearing on a bill that affects the entire Federal Government?
  Mr. RASKIN. Reclaiming my time, I tremble to say here in front of the 
whole body, but I don't believe that it was. I stand to be corrected by 
my colleagues if there was a hearing.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Will the gentleman yield?
  Mr. RASKIN. I yield to the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Did we act on evidence-based policymaking? Were there 
studies and data that showed how successful extending the probationary 
would be for all of these Federal agencies?
  Mr. RASKIN. Reclaiming my time, not to my knowledge. I am used to 
that coming out of the State legislature, where we have endless 
hearings that go on into 2 a.m. in the morning or they go on for 
several days. But there were no hearings, there was no evidence, there 
was no expert testimony.
  I couldn't figure out what was behind it. Then I realized that there 
is this effort to demoralize the Federal workforce and there was this 
effort to create a kind of political control over what is going on in 
the Federal workplace.
  The CHAIR. The time of the gentleman has expired.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chair, I yield an additional 1 minute to the 
gentleman.
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Chair, I am baffled and puzzled by the way in which 
this measure came about. And I am really scared about what it means for 
all of our constituents who make the sacrifice of going to work for the 
Federal Government to serve the American people, because they are going 
into the workplace and I think most people are used to a probationary 
period of 3 months or 6 months. We had a year. Now we are doubling it 
to 2 years, which means that people are living in fear at a time when 
there is an administration that is intimidating people for doing their 
jobs; for example, for doing research about climate change and trying 
to deal with environmental problems. They are facing reprisals in the 
workplace.
  This is a bill that deserves to go down in defeat. Anybody who 
represents Federal workers, I think, should stand up strongly against 
it. It should be returned to sender and let's have some real hearings 
and some real analysis.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I reserve the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I have no further speakers at this time, 
and I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chair, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chair, I think it is important to define what the probationary 
period is and what it is not.
  According to the MSPB, the probationary period is the final step in 
the employee screening process when an individual must demonstrate 
``why it is

[[Page H9553]]

in the public interest for the government to finalize an appointment to 
the civil service.''
  This is not a punitive measure. It is an opportunity for a 
prospective employee to prove they are qualified to serve the American 
people through a position in the civil service. These are critically 
important jobs and we need the best and brightest to fill them. A 
longer probationary period gives all new hires time to complete their 
training, learn on the job, and demonstrate that they can perform the 
role they were hired to do. This is good for our government, good for 
Federal employees, and good for the American people.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge adoption of the bill, and I yield back the 
balance of my time.
  Mr. CUMMINGS. Mr. Chair, I rise in opposition to H.R. 4182, the 
EQUALS Act.
  My Republican colleagues have offered a legislative solution to a 
problem that does not exist.
  The Oversight Committee has not held a single hearing to examine the 
existing one-year probationary period.
  Yet, this legislation would double the probationary period. In the 
process, it would degrade the due process rights of these employees.
  These due process protections are critical to protecting 
whistleblowers who report waste, fraud, and abuse.
  For example, the Oversight Committee has examined retaliation against 
whistleblowers at the Transportation Security Administration.
  In one case, a career official and disabled veteran testified before 
the Oversight Committee that he was removed from consideration for a 
Senior Executive Service position during his probationary period 
because he reported misconduct by top leaders at TSA including sexual 
harassment.
  During his interview with Committee staff, this senior career 
official explained that extending the probationary period would make it 
easier for agencies to retaliate against other whistleblowers in the 
future.
  The House of Representatives should not approve legislation that 
would allow more retaliation against whistleblowers at federal 
agencies.
  Apart from the negative effects, we have seen no reason to adopt this 
bill. We have seen no problem that needs to be addressed.
  As I said, the Oversight Committee never held a hearing on this bill.
  We have not determined whether doubling the probationary period would 
help agencies deal with poor performers or further their missions.
  We have not seen any evidence that federal agencies need a blanket 
one-year extension of the probationary period for every single federal 
job.
  Instead, a recent GAO report recommended that the Office of Personnel 
Management actually study whether expanding the probationary period 
makes sense. GAO found that OPM should, and I quote:

       Determine whether there are occupations in which . . . the 
     probationary period should extend beyond 1-year to provide 
     supervisors with sufficient time to assess an individual's 
     performance.

  I agree with GAO that a study needs to be conducted first.
  But our Republican colleagues want to skip this step. They want to 
skip any real examination of the issue and just add another year of 
probation during which employees have limited rights.
  Some of my colleagues cite the fact that Congress passed a two-year 
probationary period for Department of Defense civilian employees in the 
National Defense Authorization Act of Fiscal Year 2016.
  However, I would like to note two important facts.
  First, the Defense Department did not request this change in the 
probationary period or indicate any need for it.
  Second, the Department is not even using this new authority.
  The Acting Undersecretary of Defense for Personnel and Readiness, 
Peter Levine, testified before the Senate Armed Services Committee in 
March. He stated, and I quote, ``the Department has done little to take 
advantage of that legislation.''
  Mr. Levin warned that changing the law to address a small number of 
problem employees could hurt recruitment and retention and worker 
productivity. He stated, and I quote:

       ``If legislation that is intended to address a problem with 
     one percent of the workforce is perceived as threatening and 
     hostile by the other 99 percent, it may undermine morale and 
     reduce the Department's ability to attract and retain the 
     capable employees that it needs.''

  Before damaging protections for whistleblowers, we should first 
determine whether an extension of the probationary period is needed at 
all.
  We should also determine whether it is appropriate for all federal 
service occupations or only certain occupations.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Byrne). All time for general debate has 
expired.
  Pursuant to the rule, the bill shall be considered for amendment 
under the 5-minute rule, and shall be considered as read.
  The text of the bill is as follows:

                               H.R. 4182

       Be it enacted by the Senate and House of Representatives of 
     the United States of America in Congress assembled,

     SECTION 1. SHORT TITLE.

       This Act may be cited as the ``Ensuring a Qualified Civil 
     Service Act of 2017'' or the ``EQUALS Act of 2017''.

     SEC. 2. EXTENSION OF PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR POSITIONS WITHIN 
                   THE COMPETITIVE SERVICE.

       (a) In General.--Section 3321 of title 5, United States 
     Code, is amended--
       (1) in subsection (a), by striking ``The President'' and 
     inserting ``Subject to subsections (c) and (d), the 
     President'';
       (2) by redesignating subsection (c) as subsection (e); and
       (3) by inserting after subsection (b) the following:
       ``(c)(1) The length of a probationary period established 
     under paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (a) shall--
       ``(A) with respect to any position that requires formal 
     training, begin on the date of appointment to the position 
     and end on the date that is 2 years after the date on which 
     such formal training is completed;
       ``(B) with respect to any position that requires a license, 
     begin on the date of appointment to the position and end on 
     the date that is 2 years after the date on which such license 
     is granted; and
       ``(C) with respect to any position not covered by 
     subparagraph (A) or (B), be a period of 2 years beginning on 
     the date of the appointment to the position.
       ``(2) In paragraph (1)--
       ``(A) the term `formal training' means, with respect to any 
     position, a training program required by law, rule, or 
     regulation, or otherwise required by the employing agency, to 
     be completed by the employee before the employee is able to 
     successfully execute the duties of the applicable position; 
     and
       ``(B) the term `license' means a license, certification, or 
     other grant of permission to engage in a particular activity.
       ``(d) The head of each agency shall, in the administration 
     of this section, take appropriate measures to ensure that--
       ``(1) any announcement of a vacant position within the 
     agency and any offer of appointment made to any individual 
     with respect to any such position clearly states the terms 
     and conditions of any applicable probationary period, 
     including any formal training period and any license 
     requirement;
       ``(2) any individual who is required to complete a 
     probationary period under this section receives timely notice 
     of any requirements, including performance requirements, that 
     must be met in order to satisfactorily complete such period;
       ``(3) any supervisor or manager of an individual who is 
     required to complete a probationary period under this section 
     receives notification of the end date of such period not less 
     than 30 days before such date; and
       ``(4) if the head decides to retain an individual after the 
     completion of a probationary period under this section, the 
     head submits a certification to that effect, supported by a 
     brief statement of the basis for the certification, in such 
     form and manner as the President may by regulation 
     prescribe.''.
       (b) Technical Amendment.--Section 3321(e) of title 5, 
     United States Code (as so redesignated by subsection (a)(2)), 
     is amended by striking ``Subsections (a) and (b)'' and 
     inserting ``Subsections (a) through (d)''.
       (c) Effective Date.--This section and the amendments made 
     by this section--
       (1) shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     this Act; and
       (2) shall apply in the case of any appointment (as referred 
     to in section 3321(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code) and 
     any initial appointment (as referred to in section 3321(a)(2) 
     of such title) taking effect on or after the date on which 
     this section takes effect.

     SEC. 3. EXTENSION OF PROBATIONARY PERIOD FOR POSITIONS WITHIN 
                   THE SENIOR EXECUTIVE SERVICE.

       (a) In General.--Section 3393(d) of title 5, United States 
     Code, is amended by striking ``1-year'' and inserting ``2-
     year''.
       (b) Conforming Amendment.--Section 3592(a)(1) of such title 
     is amended by striking ``1-year'' and inserting ``2-year''.
       (c) Effective Date.--The amendments made by this section--
       (1) shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     this Act; and
       (2) shall apply in the case of any individual initially 
     appointed as a career appointee under section 3393 of title 
     5, United States Code, on or after the date on which this 
     section takes effect.

     SEC. 4. ADVERSE ACTIONS.

       (a) Subchapter I of Chapter 75 of Title 5.--Section 7501(1) 
     of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) by striking ``or, except'' and inserting ``and, 
     except''; and
       (2) by striking ``1 year of current'' and inserting ``2 
     years of current''.
       (b) Subchapter II of Chapter 75 of Title 5.--Section 
     7511(a)(1) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--

[[Page H9554]]

       (1) in subparagraph (A)(i) by striking ``; or'' and 
     inserting ``; and'';
       (2) in subparagraph (A)(ii), by striking ``1 year'' the 
     first place it appears and inserting ``2 years'';
       (3) in subparagraph (B) by striking ``1 year'' and 
     inserting ``2 years''; and
       (4) in subparagraph (C)(i), by striking ``; or'' and 
     inserting ``; and''.
       (c) Actions Based on Unacceptable Performance.--Section 
     4303(f) of title 5, United States Code, is amended--
       (1) in paragraph (2) by striking ``1 year of current'' and 
     inserting ``2 years of current''; and
       (2) in paragraph (3) by striking ``1 year'' and inserting 
     ``2 years''.
       (d) Effective Date.--The amendments made by subsections 
     (a), (b), and (c)--
       (1) shall take effect 1 year after the date of enactment of 
     this Act; and
       (2) shall apply in the case of any individual whose period 
     of continuous service (as referred to in the provision of law 
     amended by paragraph (1) or (2) of subsection (b), as the 
     case may be) commences on or after the date on which this 
     section takes effect.

     SEC. 5. REGULATIONS REQUIRED.

       Not later than 180 days after the date of enactment of this 
     Act, the Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall 
     issue such regulations as are necessary to carry out this Act 
     and the amendments made by this Act.

  The Acting CHAIR. No amendment to the bill shall be in order except 
those printed in House Report 115-430. Each such amendment may be 
offered only in the order printed in the report, by a Member designated 
in the report, shall be considered read, shall be debatable for the 
time specified in the report, equally divided and controlled by the 
proponent and an opponent, shall not be subject to amendment, and shall 
not be subject to a demand for division of the question.


                Amendment No. 1 Offered by Mr. Hastings

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 1 
printed in House Report 115-430.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chair, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Page 3, line 18, strike ``The length'' and insert ``Except 
     as provided for in paragraph (2), the length''.
       Page 4, after line 8, insert the following (and redesignate 
     accordingly):
       ``(2) Notwithstanding paragraph (1), in the case of an 
     individual who has successfully completed a term of service 
     in a national service program under the National and 
     Community Service Act of 1990 (42 U.S.C. 12501 et seq.) or 
     the Domestic Volunteer Service Act of 1973 (42 U.S.C. 4950 et 
     seq.), or as a volunteer or a volunteer leader under the 
     Peace Corps Act (22 U.S.C. 2501 et seq.), the length of a 
     probationary period established under paragraph (1) or (2) of 
     subsection (a) shall--
       ``(A) with respect to any position occupied by such an 
     individual that requires formal training, begin on the date 
     of appointment to the position and end on the date that is 1 
     year after the date on which such formal training is 
     completed;
       ``(B) with respect to any position occupied by such an 
     individual that requires a license, begin on the date of 
     appointment to the position and end on the date that is 1 
     year after the date on which such license is granted; and
       ``(C) with respect to any position occupied by such an 
     individual that is not covered by subparagraph (A) or (B), be 
     a period of 1 year beginning on the date of the appointment 
     to the position.
       Page 4, line 9, strike ``paragraph (1)'' and insert ``this 
     subsection''.

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 635, the gentleman 
from Florida (Mr. Hastings) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Florida.
  Mr. HASTINGS. Mr. Chairman, for far too long, the Republican majority 
in Congress has treated Federal workers as if they are the problem.
  We have spent years beating up Federal employees, implementing pay 
freezes, implementing hiring freezes, and cutting benefits in order to 
drive employees away from government service. The legislation we are 
debating today continues this offensive unfair trend.
  This bill doubles the probationary period for employees of the civil 
service, in an effort to make it easier to fire the employees without 
giving them any chance to challenge that decision. In doing so, my 
Republican friends are sending a clear message, and that message is 
that they see Federal employees as untrustworthy and unworthy of being 
secure in their employment.
  The amendment I am offering would exempt those who have served this 
country through programs such as the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps from 
the 2-year probationary period under this legislation, instead keeping 
them at the 1-year level of probation already in effect.
  Last night, I offered an amendment at the Rules Committee to extend 
this same exemption for veterans, but it was blocked from 
consideration.
  Let me say that again because I want every one watching to hear me 
loudly and clearly. Last night, the Republican majority on the Rules 
Committee voted to block an amendment that would have protected 
veterans employed in the government from being fired without cause.
  I was told by my colleague who introduced this measure that being 
able to fire veterans within a 2-year probationary period--footnote 
right there: veterans would have already served 2 or more years before 
becoming civil servants at that level--but I was told that, without 
giving them any legal protections, recourse, or even an ability to 
improve ``helps the veterans, just like it helps everyone.''
  Well, Mr. Chairman, I am here to tell you that is hogwash. Veterans 
should not need to prove themselves worthy of a government job for a 
full 2 years before they are afforded the rights that should be 
inherent their position.
  We ought to be spending time working to strengthen our Federal 
workforce through better training and more plentiful diversity 
programs. Instead, this bill needlessly undermines our civil service 
and the fine people who work within it, while simultaneously making it 
a less attractive place of employment for our best and brightest at a 
time when we are in desperate need of such people.
  This amendment would protect those who have already served our 
country in the national service from this bill's intentions. In my 
opinion, we should be expanding protections for everyone--for veterans, 
women, minorities, LGBTQ Americans, and especially for disabled 
Americans.
  Let me say one more thing that I said last night, and this is with 
due respect to my colleague, Mr. Connolly, who is managing for the 
minority in this case, and the extraordinary number of constituents 
that he and the Members, both Republican and Democrat, in the near 
curtilage of this area here in metropolitan Washington, they do an 
incredible job. Their constituents virtually all are saying to them 
that this is an unnecessary measure.
  I am sure that Mr. Connolly has made that very clear. I heard him 
introduce measures that I introduced in the Rules Committee last night 
from a variety of organizations. I will not burden you more but to say 
that we should be about the business of trying to build a Federal 
workforce and not put obstacles in their way.
  Mr. Chair, I urge a ``yes'' vote, and I yield back the balance of my 
time.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may consume.
  Mr. Chairman, this amendment does not create an exception for alumni 
of the Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and other national service programs. It 
puts them at a disadvantage.
  They would have less time than other new hires to prove themselves 
before managers make a decision whether to keep them or let them go. 
This could mean fewer Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, and other national 
service alumni are retained at the end of the probationary period.
  Under the current 1-year system, supervisors often do not have enough 
time to determine whether a potential employee is a good fit for the 
job. Managers tend to err on the side of releasing an employee who is 
on the fence at the end of a probationary period.
  New hires to the Federal Government deserve ample time to demonstrate 
they are able to perform all critical aspects of the job. H.R. 4182 
gives them more time.
  This amendment would actually put certain groups at a disadvantage in 
comparison to the rest of the Federal workforce. Alumni of the Peace 
Corps, AmeriCorps, and other programs would have 1 year to demonstrate 
the skills and core competencies required for the

[[Page H9555]]

Federal job they are seeking. Their colleagues would have 2 years.
  The spirit of this amendment is admirable, but the unintended 
consequence of adopting it will be that the very people the amendment 
is meant to benefit would be at a disadvantage.
  The probationary period is not a punishment. It is an extension of 
the hiring process and a tool to help ensure a qualified civil service. 
This amendment would create additional classes of Federal employees and 
unnecessarily add complexity to an already complex system.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to oppose this amendment, and I yield 
back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Florida (Mr. Hastings).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the ayes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida will 
be postponed.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Chair understands that amendment No. 2 will not 
be offered.


                  Amendment No. 3 Offered by Gianforte

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 3 
printed in House Report 115-430.
  Mr. GIANFORTE. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:
       Page 4, strike lines 1 through 5 and insert the following:
       ``(3) any supervisor or manager of an individual who is 
     required to complete a probationary period under this section 
     receives periodic notifications of the end date of such 
     period not later than 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, and 30 days 
     before such end date; and

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 635, the gentleman 
from Montana (Mr. Gianforte) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Montana.


        Modification to Amendment No. 3 Offered by Mr. Gianforte

  Mr. GIANFORTE. Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous consent to modify the 
amendment in the form I have placed at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will report the modification.
  The Clerk read as follows:

       Page 5, strike lines 8 through 12 and insert the following:
       ``(3) any supervisor or manager of an individual who is 
     required to complete a probationary period under this section 
     receives periodic notifications of the end date of such 
     period not later than 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, and 30 days 
     before such end date; and

  Mr. GIANFORTE (during the reading). Mr. Chairman, I ask unanimous 
consent to dispense with the reading.
  The Acting CHAIR. Is there objection to the request of the gentleman 
from Montana?
  There was no objection.
  The Acting CHAIR. Without objection, the amendment is modified.
  There was no objection.
  Mr. GIANFORTE. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  A longer probationary period for new Federal hires is important to 
give supervisors the time they need to evaluate whether a new hire 
should gain career employee status. But a longer probationary period 
will not accomplish anything if supervisors don't use the extended time 
properly.
  Managers often don't know the end dates for probationary employees 
under their supervision. Because probationary periods end 
automatically, without action by a supervisor, an employee can be hired 
without a complete assessment of whether the employee is qualified for 
full Federal service.
  A 2015 Government Accountability Office report recommended automated 
systems to notify supervisors when the end of an individual's 
probationary period is imminent.

                              {time}  1600

  Agencies have these systems. They just need to use them. My amendment 
requires supervisors to be notified at a series of regular intervals in 
advance of the expiration of a probationary period. The notifications 
occur at 1 year, 6 months, 3 months, and 30 days before the scheduled 
completion of a probationary period.
  This notification will remind supervisors of their responsibilities 
to observe employees and provide feedback throughout the probationary 
period. It will also remind supervisors to decide whether the employee 
is fit for Federal service.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to support this amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I rise in opposition to the amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Virginia is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, as indicated, I appreciate the intent of 
my friend from Montana, but this is a bad bill. We ought to be studying 
the effect of the existing pilot program at the Department of Defense 
to see how it works, and we ought to be adopting the GAO recommendation 
of better training for supervisors whom the GAO found, frankly, were 
ill-equipped to evaluate employees during a 1- or 2-year probationary 
period.
  We ought to have a hearing, and my friend from Montana might even 
agree with this, since he is the newest Member, one of the newest 
Members of our committee. Our committee is the locus for government-
wide initiatives such as this.
  We have not had a single hearing on this bill, or, frankly, on this 
subject, and I think that is a huge mistake. We are putting the cart 
before the horse; so I think we ought to return to a more empirical-
based policymaking, especially when it is a policy that will affect 
every future Federal employee, and those numbers are huge, given the 
baby boom bulge ready to retire. That is 40 percent of the workforce, 
and it has to be replaced.
  So while I very much appreciate the intent of my friend from Montana, 
it is in that context I rise in opposition.
  Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. GIANFORTE. Mr. Chairman, I thank my friend from Virginia. I urge 
adoption of this amendment and the underlying bill, and I yield back 
the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment, as modified, 
offered by the gentleman from Montana (Mr. Gianforte).
  The amendment, as modified, was agreed to.


                Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Connolly

  The Acting CHAIR. It is now in order to consider amendment No. 4 
printed in House Report 115-430.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I have an amendment at the desk.
  The Acting CHAIR. The Clerk will designate the amendment.
  The text of the amendment is as follows:

       Strike all after the enacting clause and insert the 
     following:

     SECTION 1. STUDY ON LENGTH OF PROBATIONARY PERIOD.

       (a) In General.--The Comptroller General of the United 
     States shall conduct a study on Federal agencies that have 
     lengthened the employee probationary period from 1 to 2 years 
     and other potential extensions of probationary periods for 
     certain occupations in the Federal Government.
       (b) Contents.--The study required under subsection (a) 
     shall analyze--
       (1) any impact of an existing 2-year probationary period 
     (compared to a 1-year probationary period) on the employing 
     agency's ability to deal with underperforming employees, 
     improve productivity, improve recruitment and retention, and 
     accomplish the mission of the agency and shall include the 
     Department of Defense as a case study; and
       (2) whether certain occupations in the Federal Government 
     should have probationary periods in excess of 1 year because 
     of the complexity, sensitivity, or unique occupational 
     challenges of such occupations, including--
       (A) whether such a probationary period extension would 
     provide supervisors sufficient time to adequately assess 
     employee performance and whether the extension would lead to 
     measureable improvements in the performance of employees in 
     those occupations; and
       (B) an identification of the occupations, and the 
     characteristics of those occupations, that would benefit from 
     longer probationary periods, including requirements to 
     exercise supervisory authority and possess professional 
     licenses and training.
       (c) Report.--Not later than 2 years after the date of 
     enactment of this Act, the Comptroller General shall submit 
     to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform of the 
     House of Representatives and the Committee on Homeland 
     Security and Governmental Affairs of the Senate a report 
     containing the study required under subsection (a).


[[Page H9556]]


  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to House Resolution 635, the gentleman 
from Virginia (Mr. Connolly) and a Member opposed each will control 5 
minutes.
  The Chair recognizes the gentleman from Virginia.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield myself such time as I may 
consume.
  Mr. Chairman, under H.R. 4182, the probationary period for all 
Federal employees is extended for an additional year, regardless of the 
job they are hired to do. All new employees are punished equally, and 
supervisors are given no new tools to improve their use of the existing 
probationary period.
  In February 2016, as I have mentioned before, the GAO reports 
studying the rules and trends relating to review and dismissal of 
employees for poor performance, suggests that the Office of Personnel 
Management look into whether there are certain occupations, due to the 
nature or complexity of the position, in which the probationary period 
should be extended beyond 1 year or not.
  We heard testimony before the Rules Committee from a number of 
colleagues who represent areas with big Federal concentration, Federal 
employee concentrations with specialized agencies, such as the weather 
service in Oklahoma and CDC in Atlanta where a 2-year probationary 
period may very well impede the ability to hire the skilled workers we 
need.
  The report goes on to say that it is something that should be looked 
into. It does not call for a government-wide extension of the 
probationary period. That is why I filed this amendment to require the 
GAO to conduct a study on the Department of Defense and other Federal 
agencies that have used this tool, a 2-year probationary period.
  A 2-year probationary period for civilian employees at DOD was 
enacted in 2016, and as the largest Federal agency, this extension 
would provide a good case study on the potential impacts: good, bad, 
and indifferent on the legislation before us. It is a study we ought to 
do before we adopt a bill.
  Some of my colleagues believe that since extending the probationary 
period has been working out so well, it ought to be extended across the 
entire Federal Government. There are a few things I need to point out 
for us. This policy only affected those who were hired after November 
25, 2015, the day the law went into effect.
  Secondly, the former Under Secretary of Defense, as I mentioned in 
earlier statements, Peter Levine, testified before the Armed Services 
Committee that the Department has done little to take advantage of that 
legislation. That is his testimony. Therefore, there are only a small 
number of employees who have completed the 2-year probationary period, 
and it is too soon to declare it a success or failure.
  That is why my amendment would have the GAO give us guidance. How has 
it worked? Has it helped? Has it hurt? Are there some things we haven't 
anticipated that we need to address?
  The study would also look into whether extending the probationary 
period has any effect on the ability of an agency to recruit and 
retain. And, again, I pointed out 40 percent of the existing workforce 
is eligible for retirement now or in the next few years. That is a huge 
number of people. And we have got to worry about recruitment.
  Gathering the data is a necessary first step, not a last step or an 
afterthought, before deciding to change a law with such profound impact 
on Federal agencies. This bill, as I said to my friend from Kentucky 
(Mr. Comer), may yet prove to be a good idea, but we don't know. There 
remain a lot of questions about the efficacy of this proposal. It is 
risky, and it can have terrible negative consequences that we haven't 
even foreseen and some of which we can predict today.
  Two weeks ago, this body adopted a policy of evidence-based 
policymaking, so let's put it into implementation with this bill. Let's 
look for some evidence, empirical evidence, systematically done to 
justify the adoption of such a sweeping bill.
  Mr. Chairman, I call for the adoption of my amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I claim the time in opposition to the 
gentleman's amendment.
  The Acting CHAIR. The gentleman from Kentucky is recognized for 5 
minutes.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, extending the probationary period is not a 
new idea. Federal manager groups have advocated for an extended 
probationary period for more than a decade.
  The Government Accountability Office completed a study on the 
probationary period in February of 2015. In that study, chief human 
capital officers told GAO a longer probationary period could help 
supervisors make a performance assessment for those occupations that 
are particularly complex or difficult to assess. GAO also recommended 
considering, ``extending the supervisory probationary period beyond 1 
year to include at least 1 full employee appraisal cycle.''
  As far back as 2005, the Merit Systems Protection Board completed a 
study and recommended longer probationary periods when an agency deems 
it necessary to fully evaluate a probationer. It is not necessary to 
wait for more studies on this issue.
  This amendment strikes the entire bill, meaning the current 
probationary period would remain the same and the problems that GAO and 
others have identified would persist. This amendment undermines the 
entire purpose of the bill, which is to allow managers' employees more 
time to conduct a fair and complete assessment of probationary Federal 
employees.
  Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to oppose this amendment, and I reserve 
the balance of my time.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield 1 minute to the gentleman from 
Maryland (Mr. Raskin).
  Mr. RASKIN. Mr. Chairman, I want to thank Mr. Connolly, and I want to 
salute him as a really ardent champion for those of your constituents 
who work in the Federal Government. In Maryland, as in Virginia, we 
have lots of them, but it is not just there.
  Eighty-five percent of the Federal workforce lives outside of the 
Washington/Maryland/Virginia area: Kentucky and California and South 
Carolina and Texas. This would apply to all new employees. Millions of 
new people coming into the workforce would be added, doubling the 
probationary period. Imagine if you were trying to hire for your small 
business and you had to tell people that they were going to be on 
probation for 2 years basically, with none of the rights that you would 
have vested as if you had really gotten hired and been part of the 
workforce.
  I want to say, they are willing, apparently, in this bill, to give 
people a whole extra year on probation. They are not wanting to wait 
even 1 year or a half a year, maybe, for the GAO to do a proper study 
so we can use evidence-based policymaking, as the gentleman says. That 
is the very least that we can do.
  The good gentleman from Kentucky (Mr. Comer) said that there was a 
study done 10 years ago.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I yield back the balance of my time.
  Mr. COMER. Mr. Chairman, I urge Members to vote ``no'' on this 
amendment, and I yield back the balance of my time.
  The Acting CHAIR. The question is on the amendment offered by the 
gentleman from Virginia (Mr. Connolly).
  The question was taken; and the Acting Chair announced that the noes 
appeared to have it.
  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Chairman, I demand a recorded vote.
  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, further 
proceedings on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia 
will be postponed.


                    Announcement by the Acting Chair

  The Acting CHAIR. Pursuant to clause 6 of rule XVIII, proceedings 
will resume on those amendments printed in House Report 115-430 on 
which further proceedings were postponed, in the following order:
  Amendment No. 1 by Mr. Hastings of Florida.
  Amendment No. 4 by Mr. Connolly of Virginia.
  The Chair will reduce to 2 minutes the minimum time for any 
electronic vote after the first vote in this series.


                Amendment No. 1 offered by Mr. Hastings

  The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is a request for a recorded 
vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Florida (Mr. 
Hastings) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which the 
ayes prevailed by voice vote.

[[Page H9557]]

  The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
  The Clerk redesignated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The Acting CHAIR. This will be a 15-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 195, 
noes 221, not voting 17, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 646]

                               AYES--195

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Bacon
     Barragan
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Cole
     Connolly
     Cooper
     Correa
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     Dent
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Fitzpatrick
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                               NOES--221

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Banks (IN)
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Comstock
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Curtis
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McKinley
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                             NOT VOTING--17

     Barletta
     Bridenstine
     Collins (GA)
     Conyers
     Delaney
     Gohmert
     Harper
     Jayapal
     Kennedy
     Norman
     Pocan
     Posey
     Renacci
     Scalise
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Webster (FL)


                    Announcement by the Acting Chair

  The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There are 2 minutes remaining.

                              {time}  1637

  Ms. STEFANIK, Messrs. OLSON, BISHOP of Utah, and Ms. GRANGER changed 
their vote from ``aye'' to ``no.''
  Mrs. TORRES and Mr. DOGGETT changed their vote from ``no'' to 
``aye.''
  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.


                Amendment No. 4 Offered by Mr. Connolly

  The Acting CHAIR. The unfinished business is the demand for a 
recorded vote on the amendment offered by the gentleman from Virginia 
(Mr. Connolly) on which further proceedings were postponed and on which 
the noes prevailed by voice vote.
  The Clerk will redesignate the amendment.
  The Clerk redesignated the amendment.


                             Recorded Vote

  The Acting CHAIR. A recorded vote has been demanded.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The Acting CHAIR. This will be a 2-minute vote.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 193, 
noes 223, not voting 17, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 647]

                               AYES--193

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Barragan
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Cole
     Comstock
     Connolly
     Cooper
     Correa
     Costa
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cuellar
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Grijalva
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones
     Kaptur
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McKinley
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                               NOES--223

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Bost
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)

[[Page H9558]]


     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Conaway
     Cook
     Costello (PA)
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Curtis
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Denham
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Donovan
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fitzpatrick
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Katko
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     King (NY)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     LoBiondo
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Sanford
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Simpson
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tiberi
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Upton
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                             NOT VOTING--17

     Bridenstine
     Collins (GA)
     Conyers
     Delaney
     Harper
     Jayapal
     Kennedy
     Norman
     Pocan
     Posey
     Renacci
     Ruppersberger
     Rutherford
     Scalise
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Webster (FL)


                    Announcement by the Acting Chair

  The Acting CHAIR (during the vote). There is 1 minute remaining.

                              {time}  1644

  So the amendment was rejected.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  The Acting CHAIR (Mr. Ferguson). There being no further amendments, 
under the rule, the Committee rises.
  Accordingly, the Committee rose; and the Speaker pro tempore (Mr. 
Byrne) having assumed the chair, Mr. Ferguson, Acting Chair of the 
Committee of the Whole House on the state of the Union, reported that 
that Committee, having had under consideration the bill (H.R. 4182) to 
amend title 5, United States Code, to modify probationary periods with 
respect to positions within the competitive service and the Senior 
Executive Service, and for other purposes, and, pursuant to House 
Resolution 635, he reported the bill back to the House with an 
amendment adopted in the Committee of the Whole.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Under the rule, the previous question is 
ordered.
  The question is on the amendment.
  The amendment was agreed to.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the engrossment and third 
reading of the bill.
  The bill was ordered to be engrossed and read a third time, and was 
read the third time.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. The question is on the passage of the bill.
  The question was taken; and the Speaker pro tempore announced that 
the ayes appeared to have it.


                             Recorded Vote

  Mr. CONNOLLY. Mr. Speaker, I demand a recorded vote.
  A recorded vote was ordered.
  The SPEAKER pro tempore. Pursuant to clause 8 of rule XX, this 5-
minute vote on passage of H.R. 4182 will be followed by a 5-minute vote 
on passage of H.R. 3017.
  The vote was taken by electronic device, and there were--ayes 213, 
noes 204, not voting 16, as follows:

                             [Roll No. 648]

                               AYES--213

     Abraham
     Aderholt
     Allen
     Amash
     Amodei
     Arrington
     Babin
     Bacon
     Banks (IN)
     Barletta
     Barr
     Barton
     Bergman
     Biggs
     Bilirakis
     Bishop (MI)
     Bishop (UT)
     Black
     Blackburn
     Blum
     Brady (TX)
     Brat
     Brooks (AL)
     Brooks (IN)
     Buchanan
     Buck
     Bucshon
     Budd
     Burgess
     Byrne
     Calvert
     Carter (GA)
     Carter (TX)
     Chabot
     Cheney
     Coffman
     Collins (NY)
     Comer
     Conaway
     Cooper
     Cramer
     Crawford
     Cuellar
     Culberson
     Curbelo (FL)
     Curtis
     Davidson
     Davis, Rodney
     Dent
     DeSantis
     DesJarlais
     Diaz-Balart
     Duffy
     Duncan (SC)
     Duncan (TN)
     Dunn
     Emmer
     Estes (KS)
     Farenthold
     Faso
     Ferguson
     Fleischmann
     Flores
     Fortenberry
     Foxx
     Franks (AZ)
     Frelinghuysen
     Gaetz
     Gallagher
     Garrett
     Gianforte
     Gibbs
     Gohmert
     Goodlatte
     Gosar
     Gowdy
     Granger
     Graves (GA)
     Graves (LA)
     Graves (MO)
     Griffith
     Grothman
     Guthrie
     Handel
     Harris
     Hartzler
     Hensarling
     Herrera Beutler
     Hice, Jody B.
     Higgins (LA)
     Hill
     Holding
     Hollingsworth
     Hudson
     Huizenga
     Hultgren
     Hunter
     Hurd
     Issa
     Jenkins (KS)
     Jenkins (WV)
     Johnson (LA)
     Johnson (OH)
     Johnson, Sam
     Jordan
     Joyce (OH)
     Kelly (MS)
     Kelly (PA)
     King (IA)
     Kinzinger
     Knight
     Kustoff (TN)
     Labrador
     LaHood
     LaMalfa
     Lamborn
     Lance
     Latta
     Lewis (MN)
     Long
     Loudermilk
     Love
     Lucas
     Luetkemeyer
     MacArthur
     Marchant
     Marino
     Marshall
     Massie
     Mast
     McCarthy
     McCaul
     McClintock
     McHenry
     McMorris Rodgers
     McSally
     Meadows
     Meehan
     Messer
     Mitchell
     Moolenaar
     Mooney (WV)
     Mullin
     Newhouse
     Noem
     Nunes
     Olson
     Palazzo
     Palmer
     Paulsen
     Pearce
     Perry
     Pittenger
     Poe (TX)
     Poliquin
     Ratcliffe
     Reed
     Reichert
     Rice (SC)
     Roby
     Roe (TN)
     Rogers (AL)
     Rogers (KY)
     Rohrabacher
     Rokita
     Rooney, Francis
     Rooney, Thomas J.
     Roskam
     Ross
     Rothfus
     Rouzer
     Royce (CA)
     Russell
     Rutherford
     Sanford
     Schweikert
     Scott, Austin
     Sensenbrenner
     Sessions
     Shimkus
     Shuster
     Smith (MO)
     Smith (NE)
     Smith (TX)
     Smucker
     Stefanik
     Stewart
     Tenney
     Thompson (PA)
     Thornberry
     Tipton
     Trott
     Turner
     Valadao
     Wagner
     Walberg
     Walden
     Walker
     Walorski
     Walters, Mimi
     Weber (TX)
     Wenstrup
     Westerman
     Williams
     Wilson (SC)
     Wittman
     Womack
     Woodall
     Yoder
     Yoho
     Young (AK)
     Young (IA)
     Zeldin

                               NOES--204

     Adams
     Aguilar
     Barragan
     Bass
     Beatty
     Bera
     Beyer
     Bishop (GA)
     Blumenauer
     Blunt Rochester
     Bonamici
     Bost
     Boyle, Brendan F.
     Brady (PA)
     Brown (MD)
     Brownley (CA)
     Bustos
     Butterfield
     Capuano
     Carbajal
     Cardenas
     Carson (IN)
     Cartwright
     Castor (FL)
     Castro (TX)
     Chu, Judy
     Cicilline
     Clark (MA)
     Clarke (NY)
     Clay
     Cleaver
     Clyburn
     Cohen
     Cole
     Comstock
     Connolly
     Cook
     Correa
     Costa
     Costello (PA)
     Courtney
     Crist
     Crowley
     Cummings
     Davis (CA)
     Davis, Danny
     DeFazio
     DeGette
     DeLauro
     DelBene
     Demings
     Denham
     DeSaulnier
     Deutch
     Dingell
     Doggett
     Donovan
     Doyle, Michael F.
     Ellison
     Engel
     Eshoo
     Espaillat
     Esty (CT)
     Evans
     Fitzpatrick
     Foster
     Frankel (FL)
     Fudge
     Gabbard
     Gallego
     Garamendi
     Gomez
     Gonzalez (TX)
     Gottheimer
     Green, Al
     Green, Gene
     Gutierrez
     Hanabusa
     Hastings
     Heck
     Higgins (NY)
     Himes
     Hoyer
     Huffman
     Jackson Lee
     Jeffries
     Johnson (GA)
     Johnson, E. B.
     Jones
     Kaptur
     Katko
     Keating
     Kelly (IL)
     Khanna
     Kihuen
     Kildee
     Kilmer
     Kind
     King (NY)
     Krishnamoorthi
     Kuster (NH)
     Langevin
     Larsen (WA)
     Larson (CT)
     Lawrence
     Lawson (FL)
     Lee
     Levin
     Lewis (GA)
     Lieu, Ted
     Lipinski
     LoBiondo
     Loebsack
     Lofgren
     Lowenthal
     Lowey
     Lujan Grisham, M.
     Lujan, Ben Ray
     Lynch
     Maloney, Carolyn B.
     Maloney, Sean
     Matsui
     McCollum
     McEachin
     McGovern
     McKinley
     McNerney
     Meeks
     Meng
     Moore
     Moulton
     Murphy (FL)
     Nadler
     Napolitano
     Neal
     Nolan
     Norcross
     O'Halleran
     O'Rourke
     Pallone
     Panetta
     Pascrell
     Payne
     Pelosi
     Perlmutter
     Peters
     Peterson
     Pingree
     Polis
     Price (NC)
     Quigley
     Raskin
     Rice (NY)
     Richmond
     Ros-Lehtinen
     Rosen
     Roybal-Allard
     Ruiz
     Ruppersberger
     Rush
     Ryan (OH)
     Sanchez
     Sarbanes
     Schakowsky
     Schiff
     Schneider
     Schrader
     Scott (VA)
     Scott, David
     Serrano
     Sewell (AL)
     Shea-Porter
     Sherman
     Simpson
     Sinema
     Sires
     Slaughter
     Smith (NJ)
     Smith (WA)
     Soto
     Speier
     Suozzi
     Swalwell (CA)
     Takano
     Thompson (CA)
     Thompson (MS)
     Tiberi
     Titus
     Tonko
     Torres
     Tsongas
     Upton
     Vargas
     Veasey
     Vela
     Velazquez
     Visclosky
     Walz
     Wasserman Schultz
     Waters, Maxine
     Watson Coleman
     Welch
     Wilson (FL)
     Yarmuth

                             NOT VOTING--16

     Bridenstine
     Collins (GA)
     Conyers
     Delaney
     Grijalva
     Harper
     Jayapal
     Kennedy
     Norman
     Pocan

[[Page H9559]]


     Posey
     Renacci
     Scalise
     Stivers
     Taylor
     Webster (FL)


                Announcement by the Speaker Pro Tempore

  The SPEAKER pro tempore (during the vote). There are 2 minutes 
remaining.

                              {time}  1651

  So the bill was passed.
  The result of the vote was announced as above recorded.
  A motion to reconsider was laid on the table.

                          ____________________