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This bill could mean the end of telework for federal workers

The Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act is aimed at bringing workers back to the office.

WASHINGTON — A new bill could have major impacts on federal workers in the D.C. area. If the bill passes, it could mean the end of working from home for many federal employees.

At just six pages long, The Stopping Home Office Work’s Unproductive Problems (SHOW UP) Act could bring the changes. The effort to bring federal workers back to the office is being led by Republican Rep. James Comer from Kentucky. He is the new Chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability. 

The bill would require that within 30 days of passing, every agency returns to pre-pandemic arrangements. That means a lot of federal workers would be coming back. The bill would also require federal agencies to complete and submit to Congress studies outlining how pandemic-era telework impacted their performance. 

Comer denied WUSA9's request for an interview on the subject, but issued a statement.

"President Biden's unnecessary expansion of telework crippled the ability of departments and agencies to fulfill their responsibilities created cumbersome backlogs," the statement reads in part. 

The bill is already being blasted by the American Federation of Government Employees, which represents 700,000 federal and D.C. governmental workers. 

The national president, Everett Kelley, wrote in part, "At a time when agencies across government are struggling to hire and retain a new generation of government employees – Congress should be focused on improving pay, benefits, and career development opportunities. Instead we see message bills like the SHOW UP Act that denigrate the federal workforce and undermine recruitment and retention…"  

All this is a national backdrop to a local issue.

In her inaugural address, D.C. Mayor Muriel Bowser called for 100,000 new residents in the downtown area. She called on the federal government, which leases a third of the District's office space, to turn some of that over to residents.

"That's a bold goal, but the fact is, no matter what we do, it won't be fast enough without the help of the White House..." Bowser said. "We need decisive action by the White House." 

We reached out to Bowser's office to ask what they thought of the SHOW UP Act. They told us they were still reviewing it and could not offer a comment.

It is important to remember that Democrats control the Senate, so without Democratic buy-in, the bill will go nowhere. 

Rep. Comer also submitted a letter to the Administrator for the General Service Administration, accusing the leader of spending most of his time "working in a location other than Washington, D.C." The letter claims they heard about this from "whistleblower reports," and requested the administrator's calendar since he took office. 


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