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GOP Senator Calls on Federal Employees to Return to Office

Posted on Thursday, August 31, 2023
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by Outside Contributor
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26 Comments
employee working remote on the beach with laptop

Republican Sen. Joni Ernst of Iowa questioned the Biden administration over its telework policy, citing instances where employees working from home took bubble baths and played golf while on the clock.

In a letter sent to all government agencies, Ernst cited a media account of a Department of Veterans Affairs employee who attended a staff meeting while taking a bubble bath. Ernst also cited the case involving an employee with the United States Patent and Trademark Office (USPTO) who received $25,000 while spending over 730 hours at the golf course or happy hours, according to an August 2015 report by the inspector general’s office of the Commerce Department.

“It’s not fair to let the responsibilities of running an agency—and the country—fall on the shoulders of the hardworking public servants who are showing up while others are out golfing on the taxpayer’s dime,” Ernst said in a statement.

“Frustrated Americans are being put on hold while too many federal employees are phoning it in. I’m calling out federal employees who refuse to answer the call of duty to return to work on behalf of taxpayers, veterans, seniors, and our great nation. It’s time to get back to work.”

A follow-up review by the Commerce Department’s Office of Inspector General revealed over 288,000 “unsupported hours” of work that were tied to $18.3 million of waste.

Ernst cited unanswered calls to the VA by veterans seeking mental health care, delays when people requested passport assistance from the State Department and long wait times and busy messages for people calling the Social Security Administration.

Ernst also questioned the spending on office space, noting that a Government Accountability Office report released July 13 stated that 75% of office space was not being utilized.

Originally published by The Daily Caller News Foundation. Republished with permission from The Daily Signal by Harold Hutchison.

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Linda
Linda
7 months ago

There needs to be audit on every department in government!! on a regular basses . Where is the money going and who is it really going to. Our tax dollars are being wasted, foolishly spent and we pay the heavy price while they spend OUR hard earned money. It has to stop!!! Tired of my taxes going to wars, illegals and many other things that are a clear waste!!

MariaRose
MariaRose
7 months ago

And exactly why are government employees WFH, especially when their productivity alone is very inefficient, to begin with? No wonder it takes the IRS so long to process tax returns as one example. let alone process any request through any federal government agency. It is high time to trim the excess fat of the labor dollars spent on redundancy positions, especially since these jobs are permanent for life positions with very high retirement benefits.

Philip Seth Hammersley
Philip Seth Hammersley
7 months ago

Probably 40% of ALL government workers could be fired and there wouldn’t be any drop in output. Before COVID, it was shown that many employees just accessed porn and other things most of the day!

Robert Zuccaro
Robert Zuccaro
7 months ago

When I was twenty-something and didn’t show up for work,nI WAS FIRED. My times do change, hm? Must be nice when showing up is “optional”.

Carol
Carol
7 months ago

To Joni, Harold and the world: Thank you for this article. I at the age of 83+ years (now feeling 93 +) I can say that as an older person who has lived in countries and worked where the communists prevailed I pray that God will use the means he has to find an OLD Testament solution to the terrible situation this country is in today. I am sick of all the talk and want to see some ACTION. The useless idiots who think they run wa dc are so wrong! I have lost any respect for those who are in congress and more so for the senate and the white house as they just cannot seem to put the people of this country ahead of their gods, control, greed and POWER! As those who started the revolution in russia called the people who were so misguided “useful idiots” anyone who voted this current regime in should look at themselves very hard and tell their God that they were so stupid to let “them” destroy this country. Thank you Joni for your letter but it is time for action and all the talking I am hearing in wa, dc must STOP. Thank you, Carol

Stephen Russell
Stephen Russell
7 months ago

Audit & then Automate & less positions for the Govt Unions to use

Mark
Mark
7 months ago

Joni works hard not just for Iowa but for all of the country. The wasteful spending must stop at home. And we must stop giving money to the countries that hate us. You can’t buy loyalty. A federal job should just be a job not a lifestyle better than a job on the block. Yes back to the office so everyone can see your output.

Garyk
Garyk
7 months ago

I say give them 3 days to report or its a no show you’re FIRED!
Reduce the useless bloated local,state or federal government!
How ABSURD that anyone is not at work earning their wages!!!
Only in government could this moronic behavior exist!!!!
If their not there, their NOT NEEDED

Gloria
Gloria
7 months ago

it’s ridiculous for them to have such a long ‘vacation’ absence.

Cindy Hayes
Cindy Hayes
7 months ago

Quit paying them. That’s what we do in the private sector, right after we fire them for “no show” absences.
Tell our “Public Servants” who hold the checkbook that it’s not that hard – I promise.

rrr
rrr
7 months ago

Joni Ernst should be thrown out of the senate.

rrr
rrr
7 months ago

Joni Ernst is more interested in starting a civil war than getting anything done.

rrr
rrr
7 months ago

Joni Ernst is a pig.

rrr
rrr
7 months ago

Iowa is a horrible state for electing Joni Ernst.

rrr
rrr
7 months ago

Joni Ernst has not done an honest days work in her life.

shes mad
shes mad
7 months ago

Jonis mad people live like she does. Lol

An older blonde women laughing in the kitchen with a grey haired man.
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