House passes SHOW UP Act, GOP bill to return federal employees to workplace

The Stopping Home Office Work's Unproductive Problems Act of 2023 "requires each executive agency to reinstate the telework policies that were in place" before the COVID-19 pandemic.

Published: January 31, 2023 3:29pm

Updated: February 1, 2023 5:40pm

The Republican-led House of Representatives passed a bill on Wednesday that would bring more federal employees back to offices in Washington D.C.

The Stopping Home Office Work's Unproductive Problems Act or SHOW UP Act of 2023 "requires each executive agency to reinstate the telework policies that were in place on December 31, 2019."

The final vote was 221-206.

Under the legislation, federal agencies cannot "implement expanded telework policies unless the Office of Personnel Management certifies that such policies will have a positive effect on the agency's mission and operational costs."

The $2.2 trillion CARES Act, the first of three pandemic stimulus bills, provided federal agencies with nearly $5 billion to expand teleworking infrastructure.

Federal employees can still telework under the legislation, but it would be at pre-pandemic levels, explained House Oversight Committee Chairman James Comer, the sponsor of the new legislation. 

Muriel Bowser, mayor of Washington, D.C., has said unoccupied federal buildings could be used for additional housing in the city.

"We need decisive action by the White House to either get most federal workers back to the office most of the time or to realign their vast property holdings for use by the local government, by nonprofits, by businesses, and by any user willing to revitalize it," Bowser said in her inaugural speech in early January.

Comer said he and Bowser are in agreement on filling unoccupied federal government buildings. 

Just the News asked Bowser's office if she supports Comer's bill but we did not receive a response before press time.

On Tuesday, the GOP-led House passed a bill that would formally end the COVID pandemic.

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