Friday, November 9, 2018

What Contractors Might Expect with the New Democratic Controlled House

It should be clear to everyone that given the divided control of Congress, there will not be much legislating during the 116th session. Perhaps that's a good thing. However, that doesn't mean things will be peaceful. With Democrats taking control of the committees, we could see a significant amount of activity in the committees tasked with Government oversight. In fact, certain individuals have already promised to shake things up a bit. While Government oversight doesn't necessarily mean contractor oversight, contractor representatives are often drug into these matters - especially if it involves a scandal where some Government agency has dropped the ball in its own administration and oversight responsibilities.

One recent article by the Federal News Network discussed the expected changes likely to occur. Rep. Cummings who is the likely chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee has requested 64 subpoenas over the past two years for more agency information about a variety of topics. The Republican majority hasn't upheld any of them. Expect that floodgate to open. Cummings plans to "shine a light" on waste, fraud and abuse in the Trump administration.

Democrats will also focus on Government reform including strengthening whistleblower statutes, reversing the trend that makes it harder for federal employees to be represented in the workplace and other advocacy effort on behalf of federal employees. Cummings also wants to be more involved in Executive Agency reorganizations.

One major concern right now involves the recommendations coming out of the Section 809 Panel that require statutory changes to effect. Without bipartisan support, many of these recommendations may not even be brought to the table, much less implemented.

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