Quick Hits

*** A district court judge blocked the federal government from enforcing its COVID-19 mandate for federal contractors in Kentucky, Ohio and Tennessee in a ruling issued on Tuesday. The ruling from Judge Gregory F. Van Tatenhove states that President Joe Biden exceeded his authority when he ordered federal contracts to be modified to require vaccinations for contract employees.

“While the statute grants to the president great discretion, it strains credulity that Congress intended the [Federal Property and Administrative Services Act], a procurement statute, to be the basis for promulgating a public health measure such as mandatory vaccination,” Van Tatenhove wrote in his order.

*** A report from the Government Accountability Office released on Tuesday dives into policies for locality pay, percentage rate increases to the pay of feds in the General Schedule based on their location. The report suggests alternative methods not currently in use that could be applied to determine locality pay. Congress asked for the report in the fiscal year 2021 National Defense Authorization Act.

*** The House Committee on Oversight and Reform is scheduled to mark up a bill from Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) to “rebuild” the Office of Personnel Management along with a bill, first offered in the Senate, to fund digital services teams for cities and states and another measure designed to support improvements to federal agency customer service.