Arizona GOP Rep. Biggs introduces bill to make federal employees go back to the office

The GOP rep. says it's time to end government backlogs created by permanent telework.

Updated: February 14, 2022 - 12:32pm

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Arizona GOP Rep. Andy Biggs is introducing legislation that if pass will require workers at U.S. federal agencies to work in person.

The bill, the Return to Work Act, specifically mandates that agencies reinstate whatever telework policies they had in place prior to the COVID-19 pandemic. 

"Beginning on the date on which the head of an executive agency reinstates the telework policies in use by such executive agency on December 31, 2019, the reinstated telework policy of such executive agency shall apply in place of any telework provision of a teleworking, collective bargaining, or other employment agreement of such executive agency to the extent that such telework provision conflicts with, or applies a different telework policy than, the reinstated telework policy of such executive agency," reads the bill.

Biggs, who also has consistently advocated for an in-person return to classes for students, argues that the ongoing and seemingly indefinite work from home policies of various federal agencies are leading to a backlog of requests and other government inefficiencies. 

Last year, for instance, the State Department was forcing Americans to wait up to three months to renew their passports, significantly impeding their freedom to travel internationally. 

"This backlog has prevented many Americans, especially our veterans, from receiving the service and care they need," Biggs said.

"Americans are deservedly frustrated that they are not receiving the services that are owed to them. It's well overdue for our federal workers to join the rest of the workforce and return to the office."

"There’s no excuse for federal agencies to continue a strict telework schedule for their employees," said the rep.