In CongressIn The News

Senate Passes Joni Ernst Amendment Cracking Down On Federal Employees Abusing Telework

The U.S. Senate passed an amendment by Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa Tuesday to address abuses of telework by federal government employees, particularly within the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA).

Ernst previously called out abuses of telework, citing a media report of a VA employee who attended a staff meeting while taking a bubble bath. The amendment requires federal agencies funded by the Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, and Related Agencies Appropriations Act to submit a report on telecommuting employees and steps to oversee the remote work.

“As a Retired Lieutenant Colonel, I’m disgusted that many veterans calling the VA are being put on hold as bureaucrats are basking in bubble baths,” Ernst told the Daily Caller News Foundation. “I’m thankful the Senate unanimously approved my amendment to determine the impact of federal remote work on taxpayer-funded services and calculate the cost to taxpayers for maintaining largely vacant buildings.”


Ernst spoke on the Senate floor Tuesday prior to her amendment passing.

“Thousands of calls to the VA from veterans seeking mental health care went unanswered over the past year, and that was just at the Atlanta VA!” Ernst said in her remarks. “One veteran in the midst of a mental health crisis called TEN times over a three-month period and could not get the care she needed, much less anyone to answer her calls, so she ended up in an emergency room. Other veterans who made VA appointments say their therapists didn’t even show up.”

A Government Accountability Office report released July 13 stated that 75% of office space was not being utilized.

“If federal employees can’t be found at their desks, exactly where are they? The work locations of over 281 thousand employees were redacted by the Biden Administration to a Freedom of Information request filed by the nonprofit group Open the Books,” Ernst said in the speech. “Well folks, time’s up for Biden’s game of bureaucrat hide-and-seek! I am offering an amendment making the Biden Administration account for the location of every bureaucrat who works for the VA and every other department funded by this bill.”

“My amendment also requires taxpayers to be told about the financial and environmental costs of maintaining empty offices and the impact remote work is having on veterans’ care and the response times of other government services,” Ernst added.

Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

Support Conservative Daily News with a small donation via Paypal or credit card that will go towards supporting the news and commentary you've come to appreciate.

Related Articles

Back to top button