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H.R. 1132 (115th): Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act

The text of the bill below is as of Dec 5, 2017 (Reported by House Committee).


IB

Union Calendar No. 325

115th CONGRESS

1st Session

H. R. 1132

[Report No. 115–439]

IN THE HOUSE OF REPRESENTATIVES

February 16, 2017

(for himself, Mr. Ted Lieu of California, and Mr. Polis) introduced the following bill; which was referred to the Committee on Oversight and Government Reform

December 5, 2017

Additional sponsor: Mr. Sessions

December 5, 2017

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed

Strike out all after the enacting clause and insert the part printed in italic

For text of introduced bill, see copy of bill as introduced on February 16, 2017


A BILL

To amend title 5, United States Code, to provide for a 2-year prohibition on employment in a career civil service position for any former political appointee, and for other purposes.


1.

Short title

This Act may be cited as the Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act.

2.

Limitation on employment of political appointees in career civil service positions

(a)

In general

Subchapter I of chapter 31 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding at the end the following:

3115.

Employment of political appointees

(a)

Appointment approval required

(1)

In general

An individual described in paragraph (4) may not be appointed to a career position without receiving prior written approval from the Director of the Office of Personnel Management with respect to such appointment, consistent with the requirements of this subsection.

(2)

Agency appointment request

The head of an agency shall submit a request to the Director to approve the appointment of any individual described in paragraph (4) to a career position. Any such request shall include certification by the agency head to the Director that the appointment is critical for the agency to meet its mission.

(3)

OPM review

The Director shall review any request received pursuant to paragraph (2) and—

(A)

with respect to any such request, may—

(i)

approve the request if the Director determines that the appointment process with respect to the request was fair, open, and free from political influence; or

(ii)

deny the request if—

(I)

the Director fails to make the determination under clause (i); or

(II)

determines that the agency certification under paragraph (2) is unreasonable; and

(B)

with respect to a request approved under subparagraph (A)(i), shall, not less than five days before the date of approval, provide 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 the agency certification and the Director’s rationale for concurring with that certification.

(4)

Covered individuals

An individual described in this paragraph is—

(A)

a political appointee;

(B)

a former political appointee who held any political position during the five-year period before the date of the request described in paragraph (2); or

(C)

at the discretion of the Director, a former political appointee who held any political position before the five-year period described in subparagraph (B).

(b)

Restriction on appointment

(1)

In general

Notwithstanding any other law, rule, or regulation, during the 2-year period following the date a political appointee separates from a political position, such appointee may not be appointed to any career position in the civil service.

(2)

Exception

Paragraph (1) shall not apply to a political appointee who has not personally and substantially participated in any particular matter while employed in a political position.

(c)

Application

Nothing in this section shall be construed to restrict the appointment of an individual who is—

(1)

entitled to reinstatement under section 3593(b); or

(2)

eligible for reinstatement under section 3593(a).

(d)

Definitions

In this section—

(1)

the term agency has the meaning given the term Executive agency in section 105;

(2)

the term political appointee means an individual serving in an appointment of any duration to a political position;

(3)

the term political position means—

(A)

a position which has been excepted from the competitive service by reason of its confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character;

(B)

a position described under sections 5312 through 5316 (relating to the Executive Schedule); and

(C)

a general position in the Senior Executive Service during such time as it is filled by—

(i)

a noncareer appointee, as defined in paragraph (7) of section 3132(a); or

(ii)

a limited term appointee or limited emergency appointee, as defined in paragraphs (5) and (6) of section 3132(a), who is serving under a political appointment.

(4)

the term career position means—

(A)

a position in the competitive service filled by career or career-conditional appointment;

(B)

a position in the excepted service filled by an appointment of equivalent tenure as a position described in subparagraph (A);

(C)

a career reserved position, as defined in paragraph (8) of section 3132(a), in the Senior Executive Service; or

(D)

a general position in the Senior Executive Service when filled by a career appointee, as defined in section 3132(a)(4);

(5)

the term participated means an action taken as an officer or employee through decision, approval, disapproval, recommendation, the rendering of advice, investigation, or other such action; and

(6)

the term particular matter includes any investigation, application, request for a ruling or determination, rulemaking, contract, controversy, claim, charge, accusation, arrest, or judicial or other proceeding.

.

(b)

Clerical amendment

The table of sections of chapter 31 of title 5, United States Code, is amended by adding after the item relating to section 3114 the following:

3115. Employment of political appointees.

.

(c)

Application

(1)

Appointment requests

Section 3115(a) of title 5, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to any appointment or request for appointment described in such section submitted to the Office of Personnel Management after the date of enactment of this Act.

(2)

Limitation on appointments

Section 3115(b) of title 5, United States Code, as added by subsection (a), shall apply to any individual who separates from a political position (as that term is defined in section 3115(c)(2) of such title, as added by such subsection) after the date of enactment of this Act.

(d)

Regulations required

The Director of the Office of Personnel Management shall issue regulations necessary to carry out this Act, including regulations to define the term personally and substantially participated as such term is used in section 3115(b)(2) of title 5, United States Code, as added by subsection (a).

December 5, 2017

Reported with an amendment, committed to the Committee of the Whole House on the State of the Union, and ordered to be printed