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H.R. 559 (115th): MERIT Act of 2017

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About the bill

Should the process for removing underperforming federal employees be sped up?


Due to existing federal rules and bureaucracy, it can take more than a year to remove or fire an underperforming federal employee.

The federal government currently has 2.78 million employees. That number is down -0.8 percent since President Trump took office.

What the bill does

The Modern Employment Reform, Improvement, and Transformation (MERIT) Act would streamline federal workplace rules, making it easier to dismiss or fire federal employees.

  • It would give any federal employees intended to be fired a 7 to 21 day notice of action, a written notice listing the reason(s) for dismissal and the projected final date of employment.
  • Any appeal from an employee to the Merit Systems Protection Board would be given up to …

Sponsor and status

Barry Loudermilk

Sponsor. Representative for Georgia's 11th congressional district. Republican.

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Last Updated: Jan 13, 2017
Length: 5 pages
Jan 13, 2017
115th Congress (2017–2019)
Died in a previous Congress

This bill was introduced on July 17, 2018, in a previous session of Congress, but it did not receive a vote.

Although this bill was not enacted, its provisions could have become law by being included in another bill. It is common for legislative text to be introduced concurrently in multiple bills (called companion bills), re-introduced in subsequent sessions of Congress in new bills, or added to larger bills (sometimes called omnibus bills).


60 Cosponsors (60 Republicans)



Jan 13, 2017

Bills and resolutions are referred to committees which debate the bill before possibly sending it on to the whole chamber.

Jul 17, 2018
Ordered Reported

A committee has voted to issue a report to the full chamber recommending that the bill be considered further. Only about 1 in 4 bills are reported out of committee.

H.R. 559 (115th) was a bill in the United States Congress.

A bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

Bills numbers restart every two years. That means there are other bills with the number H.R. 559. This is the one from the 115th Congress.

This bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, which met from Jan 3, 2017 to Jan 3, 2019. Legislation not passed by the end of a Congress is cleared from the books.

How to cite this information.

We recommend the following MLA-formatted citation when using the information you see here in academic work:

“H.R. 559 — 115th Congress: MERIT Act of 2017.” 2017. November 29, 2022 <>

Where is this information from?

GovTrack automatically collects legislative information from a variety of governmental and non-governmental sources. This page is sourced primarily from, the official portal of the United States Congress. is generally updated one day after events occur, and so legislative activity shown here may be one day behind. Data via the congress project.