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  • Congress will prohibit the Department of Defense (DOD) from implementing its policy of cutting long-term TDY per diems based on the duration of the assignment, thanks to a provision in the Fiscal Year 2019 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) conference report. FMA applauded the conference committee for this action, a legislative priority of FMA’s since the cuts were enacted in November 2014.

    A May 2017 Government Accountability Office report found DOD did not follow its own process, or those of the Office of Management and Budget, before approving the policy. The report found there is no evidence that it saves money, and it is hurting the morale of the workforce.

    For the past four years, the House Armed Services Committee has included bipartisan language in the NDAA that would end DOD’s policy that military travelers, both uniformed and civilian, are penalized for being assigned to, or volunteering for, long-term travel by cutting their per diem by 25% for travel over 30 days and 45% for travel over 180 days. In previous years, the House language was ultimately removed from the final conference report. This year, for the first time, the Senate Armed Services Committee also adopted bipartisan language to repeal the cuts, and the conference committee included the repeal in Section 603 of its final product. You can view the full conference report here.  

    The full House and Senate still need to approve the final conference report, but we expect both chambers to act soon. FMA is proud to score a major legislative victory on behalf of our members! 


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The Association’s considerable influence stems from a team approach to advocacy. When lawmakers or agency decision-makers consider proposals that could adversely affect the management of the federal workforce, they quickly realize that TEAM FMA stands together to protect the interests of all its members.

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