House Oversight clears tax delinquency measures

According to Chaffetz, just under 100,000 civilian federal employees owed roughly $1 billion in unpaid federal income taxes in 2009. Counting both the military and retirees, that total was more like $3 billion in 2008, according to IRS data. 

Before the Oversight panel passed the tax measures on Wednesday, it accepted a Democratic amendment to the contractor bill mandating that an agency tell Congress if it waived the requirement, and an amendment to the employee bill that would require 60 days' notice before an employee could be fired. 

On Monday, Colleen Kelley, the president of the National Treasury Employees Union, slammed the bill on federal employees and another one that would extend the probationary period for federal employees from one year to two. That bill, introduced by Rep. Dennis Ross (R-Fla.), passed House Oversight by a 17-14 vote on Wednesday.

“This is nothing more than part of a larger ongoing assault against federal employees,” Kelley said in a statement. “There is no compelling basis for either of these bills and it is an insult to federal employees to try and fast-track them without an airing of the issues through hearings.”

Sens. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.) are co-sponsoring a Senate version of the bill dealing with federal employees and unpaid taxes.