As reported by Congressional Quarterly and GovTracker.com, the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act was scheduled for mark-up on May 21, 2014; however, we found out that it was unexpectedly cancelled. It appears that the mark-up was cancelled due to the objections of a Senator on the committee that was scheduled to mark-up the bill. As you can see, in order to get a bill passed into law, it takes a huge effort involving a coalition of members of Congress to come together and agree; yet to kill a Bill, it can take just one member of Congress to ensure that the proposed legislation never sees the light of day. This has been a long and arduous process, but the NBPC is committed to doing everything it can to stabilize our pay and ensure that our efforts are not abandoned.
The Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee is scheduled to meet on May 21, 2014 to markup (debate, amend, and rewrite) the Border Patrol Agent Pay Reform Act. See below post from GovTrack.us:
Business meeting to consider an original bill entitled, "DHS Cybersecurity Workforce Recruitment and Retention Act of 2014", S.2113, to provide taxpayers with an annual report disclosing the cost and performance of Government programs and areas of duplication among them, H.R.1233, to amend chapter 22 of title 44, United States Code, popularly known as the Presidential Records Act, to establish procedures for the consideration of claims of constitutionally based privilege against disclosure of Presidential records, S.1045, to amend title 5, United States Code, to provide that persons having seriously delinquent tax debts shall be ineligible for Federal employment, S.1744, to strengthen the accountability of individuals involved in misconduct affecting the integrity of background investigations, to update guidelines for security clearances, S.1691, to amend title 5, United States Code, to improve the security of the United States border and to provide for reforms and rates of pay for border patrol agents, S.675, to prohibit contracting with the enemy, S.1820, to prohibit the use of Federal funds for the costs of official portraits of Members of Congress, heads of executive agencies, and heads of agencies and offices of the legislative branch, H.R.1036, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 103 Center Street West in Eatonville, Washington, as the "National Park Ranger Margaret Anderson Post Office", H.R.1228, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 123 South 9th Street in De Pere, Wisconsin, as the "Corporal Justin D. Ross Post Office Building", H.R.1451, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 14 Main Street in Brockport, New York, as the "Staff Sergeant Nicholas J. Reid Post Office Building", H.R.2391, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 5323 Highway N in Cottleville, Missouri as the "Lance Corporal Phillip Vinnedge Post Office", H.R.3060, to designate the facility of the United States Postal Service located at 232 Southwest Johnson Avenue in Burleson, Texas, as the "Sergeant William Moody Post Office Building", and the nominations of Sherry Moore Trafford, and Steven M. Wellner, both to be an Associate Judge of the Superior Court of the District of Columbia, Julia Akins Clark, of Maryland, to be General Counsel of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, and Tony Hammond, of Missouri, and Nanci E. Langley, of Hawaii, both to be a Commissioner of the Postal Regulatory Commission.
"Senator John McCain has taken personal notice of the affects that the de-authorization of Administrative Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) will have on border security and is working with Senator Carper to make the security of our border a priority. Not only is Senator McCain concerned about border security, but it appears he's aware of the heavy tax burden being levied on Arizonans, and along with Senator Testor of Montana, has proposed legislation that will give an added measure of border security while also saving tax payers money. In his letter to Senator Carper, he points to the billion dollar savings his legislation will give the government. This is a common sense approach by a legislator, who's working in a government that fails to exercise common sense nearly enough. Border Patrol Agents would like to thank Senator McCain for looking out for the best interest of the United States, as well as their families."
National Border Patrol Council President Brandon Judd is scheduled to testify before a Senate sub-committee later this month on the state of AUO and its use within the US Border Patrol. We will send out details on that hearing as soon as they become available.
The release of the Omnibus Spending Bill indicated positive news for the Border Patrol Pay Reform Act as the House and Senate Appropriations Committees specifically mentioned pay reform in the joint explanatory statement they issued. It reads as follows:
"Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime
CBP is directed to support the Department's review of the rampant use of Administratively Uncontrollable Overtime (AUO) across the Department. Recognizing the particular challenges of the Border Patrol, the Commissioner shall work with the National Border Patrol Council to expeditiously develop a pay reform proposal and submit it to Congress. Until such proposal is enacted, CBP shall be judicious in the use of AUO, consistent with current law, policies, and operational needs and cognizant of budgetary constraints."
The NBPC views this as a step forward to ensure that Border Patrol agents are fairly and consistently compensated. We will continue to provide updates as the process moves along.