December 2022 Update: Legislation and Information Update

16th District Members,

Congratulations.  As you will see soon on our District social media sites the Senate passed the NDAA (Defense Bill) that contained several federal firefighter beneficial issues such as minimum staffing and Federal Firefighter Presumptive Disability for certain cancers and diseases.   This success has been an ongoing effort over the past two years to get our issues acted upon by the House and Senate in the current Congress. These important issues will now become law. Many thanks to all those involved in this effort, especially our great IAFF Goverment Affairs Department.

As those of you that have lobbied on the Hill know, getting legislative issues passed is often a hurdle. There were a lot of behind-the-scenes communications with key House and Senate staff and of course House and Senate Defense Committee staff.  Some of our issues in the NDAA were actually under the jurisdiction of Committees other than the Defense Committees and getting those other Committees of Jurisdiction to allow the issues to move forward in the NDAA was at times difficult. Although touring the halls of Congress is sometimes necessary, often diligent work in communicating with key decision-makers behind the scenes can be just as fruitful.

There were several attempts by some Members of Congress to derail our issues in the NDAA. Fortunately, we were able to get several key Senators and House allies to apply leverage and keep our issues included in the Defense Bill.

I am hopeful that we can attain further successes in the next Congress that will go into session next month.  We will stay focused on our objectives and ignore those that try and distract from our goals for federal firefighters with their personal agendas.

Although House control will change hands in the next Congress, and we may need to defend bargaining and representational rights, we are prepared to work with both parties in moving federal firefighter issues forward.


Jim Johnson