What: All Issues : Labor Rights : Rights of Public Employees : HR 1585. (Fiscal 2008 Defense programs authorization) Kennedy of Massachusetts amendment that would allow federal employees to appeal outsourcing decisions/On agreeing to the amendment
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HR 1585. (Fiscal 2008 Defense programs authorization) Kennedy of Massachusetts amendment that would allow federal employees to appeal outsourcing decisions/On agreeing to the amendment
senate Roll Call 358     Oct 01, 2007
Y = Conservative
N = Progressive
Winning Side:
Progressive

This vote was on an amendment by Ted Kennedy, D-Mass., that would allow federal employees whose jobs had been outsourced to a private contractor to appeal that decision.  It also would require the Defense Department to exclude the costs of health care and retirement benefits when evaluating outsourcing bids.  The amendment was offered to the bill that authorizes Defense Department programs in fiscal 2008.

Joseph Lieberman, I-Ct,. said Kennedy’s amendment would level the playing field between contractors and federal employees by giving federal employees the ability to appeal outsourcing decisions, the same as contractors can.

“The amendment also contains a provision to ensure that contractors competing for Department of Defense work do not receive an unfair advantage because they offer inferior health or retirement benefits to what we are offering to Federal employees. I do not think any Member of this Chamber would want employees of the Department of Defense to be at a disadvantage in competing for their jobs because they receive health and retirement benefits that we authorize and ordain from the Federal Government,” Lieberman said.

No one spoke against the amendment.  However, the White House has made repeated attempts to outsource federal jobs it does not consider “inherently governmental,” arguing that private companies can be more flexible with hiring, firing and salary decisions that can ultimately benefit the country and its taxpayers.

By a vote of 51-44, Kennedy’s amendment was adopted.  Every Democrat present voted for the amendment. Of Republicans present, all but four voted against the amendment (Christopher Bond of Missouri, Olympia Snowe of Maine, Arlen Specter of Pennsylvania and John Warner of Virginia).  The end result is, the bill went forward including language that would allow federal employees to appeal an outsourcing decision, as well as requiring the Defense Department to discount health and retirement benefits when evaluating an outsourcing bid.

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