Last week, the Senate Appropriations Committee approved a fiscal 2013 financial services and general government spending bill, which covers the D.C. budget, that would provide $13.5 million for the voucher program. The House Appropriations Committee is scheduled to consider its version of the spending bill Wednesday, and it is likely to approve the full $20 million for the program.
Black Officers Begin Process for Discrimination Complaint
Last week, a group of black Capitol Police officers began the formal process of filing an official complaint with the Office of Compliance against their agency’s top brass for alleged violations of the Family and Medical Leave Act.
Such a complaint is the first step in what could ultimately become a lawsuit if not resolved through internal mediation.
Chris Ferguson, second vice chairman of the Capitol Police Labor Committee, told Roll Call recently that a handful of black officers have alleged a pattern of discrimination regarding how they are treated when they make requests for paid leave under the law.
Specifically, the officers say they have been denied leave arbitrarily or have been told their paperwork has gone missing or lost. In many cases, these black officers say similar requests for time off by their white counterparts are processed and approved without incident.
In addition to filing with the OOC, Capitol Police Labor Committee President Jim Konczos told Roll Call that union representatives met last week with staffers for the Congressional Black Caucus. He was assured, he said, that the union’s concerns on this matter would be communicated to CBC Chairman Emanuel Cleaver (D-Mo.).
“He might be giving the acting chief [Tom Reynolds] a telephone call,” Konczos added.
Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand, D-N.Y., speaks with reporters following a vote in the Senate. Gillibrand’s proposal to remove military commanders from the process of reviewing sexual-assault cases was left out of the bicameral deal on the defense authorization bill, but the senator is pushing for a vote on her plan soon.
Each year since 1990, CQ Roll Call has reviewed the financial disclosures of all 541 senators, representatives and delegates to determine the 50 richest members of Congress. This year's report, derived from forms covering the calendar year 2012, shows it took a net worth of $6.67 million to crack the exclusive club.