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The Lake News Online
  • Sen. Roy Blunt looking to grassroots efforts for help

  • A Missouri lawmaker is looking to constituents to help gain support for legislation he believes will Senator Roy Blunt is currently sponsoring two pieces of legislation that will receive a vote in the House next week as part of "Stop Government Abuse Week."
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  • A Missouri lawmaker is looking to constituents to help gain support for legislation he believes will Senator Roy Blunt is currently sponsoring two pieces of legislation that will receive a vote in the House next week as part of "Stop Government Abuse Week."
    Blunt is asking groups and individuals to take action and get involved in a grassroots effort to send a message to lawmakers in Washington, DC.
    Blunt considered taking action on the two legislative bills outlined below, which will address the serious imbalance that has developed between American citizens and government bureaucrats.
    Both of the bills have been crafted in response to what Blunt refers to as abusive tactics by federal government agencies.
    The first piece of legislation is called the Citizen Empowerment Act, and the second piece of legislation is called the Government Employee Accountability Act.
     
    •Citizen Empowerment Act
     
    The problem: In May 2013, IRS officials admitted targeting conservative Americans over a several-year period. Regulations issued by Executive Branch departments, agencies and others have created unprecedented burdens on many businesses and individuals who are simply trying to comply with the law in good faith.
    In short, an imbalance of power has developed between American citizens and government officials, and balance needs to be restored, according to a statement released by Blunt.
    Blunt's solution: The "Citizen Empowerment Act" expands a provision already included in current law that allows individuals to record conversations with Executive Branch employees.
    Current law allows individuals to record conversations with IRS officials, but the recording can only be done in-person, only applies to conversations with the IRS, requires the individual to provide 10 days notice of the recording, and can only be used in the initial stages of an investigation.
    The Citizen Empowerment Act expands the recording right to all executive agencies, for in-person and telephone conversations, at any stage of an audit or investigation, and without any advance notice requirement.
    Most importantly, the bill requires that executive agency employees provide individuals with a verbal or written notice of the individual's right to record the conversation before or at the time of their initial interaction.
     
    Government Employee Accountability Act
     
    The problem: In the event an agency head attempts to provide a swift, transparent, and effective response to an egregious violation of the public's trust, Office of Personnel Management regulations place severe limits on the administrator's ability to respond. Legislation is needed to give agency heads more flexibility when dealing with Senior Executive Service (SES) personnel and provide Congress with more oversight, Blunt said in a statement released earlier this week.
    Page 2 of 2 - Blunt's solution: The "Government Employee Accountability Act" provides Executive Agencies with the mechanisms they need to effectively deal with Senior Executive Service (SES) employees. The legislation includes the following provisions:
    • Gives agency officials the authority to remove SES employees on the spot.
    • Creates an option for investigative leave WITH or WITHOUT pay for 90 days.
    • Requires administrators to report back to Congress every 45 days (brings oversight to leave).
    • Requires definitive action at the end of the 90 day investigative leave period, at which time the agency must either: (1) remove the employee (2) suspend the employee without pay, or (3) reinstate or restore employee to duty.
     
    How to get involved contact Ray Bozarth or Lauren McCormack, Policy Advisor for Senator Roy Blunt at 202-224-5721or 202-224-5721.
     
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