Romney-Manchin bill would cap federal employees’ telework

By Kevin Bogardus | 05/08/2024 06:51 AM EDT

The bipartisan Senate duo want government staffers working in person more often.

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah).

Sens. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) and Mitt Romney (R-Utah) at the State of the Union address in March. Andrew Harnik/AP

Two moderate senators have drafted legislation that could reduce telework at federal agencies.

Sens. Mitt Romney (R-Utah) and Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) on Tuesday introduced the “Back to Work Act of 2024.” The bill would cap telework to 40 percent of the days within an employee’s pay period while requiring agencies to report performance measures related to the practice.

Civil servants working from home has become a hot topic in Washington since the the emergency response to the Covid-19 pandemic was ended by the Biden administration last year. The administration has been under increasing pressure from Republican lawmakers and local officials to have government staff work in person more often.


“It has been nearly a year since President Biden formally ended Covid-19 public health emergency declarations, yet most of our federal office buildings remain empty — wasting millions of taxpayer dollars every day,” Romney said in a statement. “Americans deserve to have a federal workforce that is both present and productive.”