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Legislative Updates

Senate votes to limit veterans’ preference in federal hiring

On June 22, the Senate passed the Fiscal Year 2017 National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA), which included a provision to scale back veterans’ preference in federal hiring.

This language was spearheaded by Sen. John McCain (R-AZ), chairman of the Senate Committee on Armed Services, who introduced the spending package in mid-June.

Specifically, the amendment eliminates the preference that veterans receive once they are in the government and apply for another federal job. The measure also affects relatives of veterans, including spouses and parents, who are eligible for veterans’ preference under special circumstances when applying for federal jobs.

While the provision is part of the annual defense appropriations bill, it would apply throughout the government.

The House’s NDAA bill was passed earlier in June without similar language.

As the two measures head to a House-Senate conference committee to resolve differences in the bills, it’s unclear whether the provision will appear in the final version that that the committee crafts.

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