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house Bill H.R. 1433

Should DHS Attempt to Improve Its Employees’ Morale?

Argument in favor

The workforce at Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the lowest morale in the federal government. This affects hiring, retention, and employee wellness. This bill would seek to remedy this issue, making DHS employees happier and strengthening the agency.

DrCindyBean's Opinion
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04/01/2019
To improve morale at DHS - fire secretary Nielsen! Now.
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Debbie 's Opinion
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04/01/2019
I think getting rid of Donald Trump will improve everybody’s Morale
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Merry's Opinion
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04/01/2019
With the President of United but Divided States slamming them to the world its impossible to stay positive!!! What leader complains about those that fight to keep him safe everyday!!!! Those that his spoiled brat ass kids get to bully he has crap to say!!!! Yea the need a boost
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Argument opposed

The interventions proposed in this bill won’t address the main cause of DHS employees’ low morale, which is their demonization in public discourse as a result of a lack of public appreciation for the value of their work enforcing immigration laws.

OWorthyFool's Opinion
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04/01/2019
Maybe morale is low because treating human beings like garbage is demoralizing. Abolish ICE. Reform the DHS.
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Kodiwodi's Opinion
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04/01/2019
This is ridiculous! We will continue the beatings until the morale improves. I had that T- shirt! If you have poor morale, look to your leaders! That’s where it comes from. You don’t need a bill. You need to have a talk with the employees and clean house in management.
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Rebekah 's Opinion
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04/01/2019
ICE is today's Nazi SS. It should be abolished altogether.
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bill Progress


  • Not enacted
    The President has not signed this bill
  • The senate has not voted
      senate Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs
  • The house has not voted
      house Committees
      Committee on Homeland Security
    IntroducedFebruary 28th, 2019

What is House Bill H.R. 1433?

This bill — the DHS MORALE Act — would aim to help improve morale among the Dept. of Homeland Security’s (DHS) more than 240,000 employees by creating and cataloguing leadership development opportunities, identifying and addressing factors that impact employee engagement, and recognizing employee contributions.

Specifically, this bill would:

  • Authorize the Department’s Chief Human Capital Officer to develop a career path framework and create opportunities for leader development that is informed by an assessment on the learning and developmental needs of employees in supervisory and non-supervisory roles.
  • Direct the Chief Human Capital Officer to maintain a catalogue of development opportunities for employees, such as the DHS Rotation Program.
  • Establish an Employee Engagement Steering Committee—comprised of representatives from across the Department, as well as individuals from employee labor organizations that represent DHS employees—to identify factors that impact employee engagement and morale and advise the Secretary on efforts to improve those areas.
  • Require the Secretary to distribute a Department-wide Employee Engagement Action Plan, reflecting input from the Steering Committee, to execute strategies to improve employee engagement, morale, and communications.
  • Authorize the Secretary to establish an Annual Employee Award Program to recognize employees for significant contributions to the achievement of the Department’s goals and missions.

This bill’s full title is the DHS Morale, Recognition, Learning and Engagement (MORALE) Act.

Impact

DHS employees; DHS employee retention; and the DHS Chief Human Capital Officer.

Cost of House Bill H.R. 1433

When this bill was introduced in the 115th Congress, the CBO estimated that implementing it would cost about $1 million in each fiscal year.

More Information

In-DepthRep. Bennie Thompson (D-MS) reintroduced this bill from the 115th Congress to improve workforce morale at the Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS):

“It’s unfortunate that the DHS workforce suffers from some of the lowest morale in the federal government. As the Committee that authorizes and oversees the Department, it’s our job not only to ensure DHS employees have a workplace that is engaging and rewarding, but to help shape a Department that is able to recruit and hire the best available talent. Under the Trump Administration, it’s especially important we do all we can to support and empower the employees of DHS. The men and women at DHS perform critical national security missions every day – ensuring their high morale is key to ensuring our country’s safety.”

After this bill passed the House in the 115th Congress, Rep. Thompson said:

“[This bill] sends a positive message to the DHS workforce by telling them that their contributions to the DHS mission are valued and they have not been forgotten as they endure new stresses and challenges under the Trump administration. Given the department’s national security mission and the increasingly scarce availability of resources, it is essential that the DHS workforce be prioritized as they are responsible for carrying out the diverse range of programs that keep our country safe.”

Writing for FedSmith, Jeff Neal, a former DHS CHCO who’s now the president of human capital consultancy ICF and founder of the ChiefHRO blog, argues that this bill doesn’t address the primary reasons underlying DHS employees’ low morale:

“The issue of DHS morale is not new, nor is it likely to be solved by the activities the bill requires… The constant criticism of the DHS workforce by the press and politicians, and some members of the public, has a corrosive effect on morale. I am not saying that bills such as the DHS MORALE Act are a bad idea, but a far more effective solution would be to support the men and women of DHS and make it clear that we value what they do… DHS is treated like the poor stepchild compared to the Department of Defense. We [have] finally learned that we should support our warfighters and value the work they do. Maybe if we extended those lessons to DHS, we really would see some big improvements in morale.”

In the current Congress, this bill passed the House Homeland Security Committee with the support of five Democratic cosponsors. Last Congress, it passed the House by a voice vote with 11 Democratic cosponsors’ support, but didn’t receive a vote in the Senate.

This bill is endorsed by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), and the National Border Patrol Council (NBPC).


Of NoteDHS has over 240,000 employees. Since its creation in 2003, the agency has consistently ranked amongst the lowest federal agencies in terms of employee morale. Morale at DHS dropped 15 percentage points from 2010 to 2015 — the biggest drop at any agency with at least 800 employees.  In the latest Federal Employee Viewpoint Survey, DHS ranked last among the 17 major federal agencies in workforce morale.

In his exit memorandum, former DHS Secretary Jeh Johnson noted the need for “an aggressive campaign to improve morale and satisfaction at the Department.”

When he became DHS Secretary, John Kelly — who served in that position from January to July 2017 before becoming President Trump’s Chief of Staff — said he’d encourage the agency’s employees by empowering them “to speak truth to power from the bottom up.” In an April 2017 speech, Kelly added, “The best way to improve morale is to let employees do the jobs they were hired and trained to do and recognize them for doing it.”

DHS has already begun developing some of its own leadership development initiatives. At the March 11, 2019 American Society for Public Administration’s (ASPA) 2019 conference, DHS CHCO Angela Bailey said:

“What we’ve decided to do is create a leadership development framework that’s generic enough that the different cultures within our different components have the ability to tailor it to what makes sense to them.”


Media:

Summary by Lorelei Yang

(Photo Credit: iStockphoto.com / Gwengoat)

AKA

Department of Homeland Security Morale, Recognition, Learning and Engagement Act of 2019

Official Title

To amend the Homeland Security Act of 2002 to improve morale within the Department of Homeland Security workforce by conferring new responsibilities to the Chief Human Capital Officer, establishing an employee engagement steering committee, requiring action plans, and authorizing an annual employee award program, and for other purposes.

    To improve morale at DHS - fire secretary Nielsen! Now.
    Like (77)
    Follow
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    Maybe morale is low because treating human beings like garbage is demoralizing. Abolish ICE. Reform the DHS.
    Like (66)
    Follow
    Share
    I think getting rid of Donald Trump will improve everybody’s Morale
    Like (58)
    Follow
    Share
    This is ridiculous! We will continue the beatings until the morale improves. I had that T- shirt! If you have poor morale, look to your leaders! That’s where it comes from. You don’t need a bill. You need to have a talk with the employees and clean house in management.
    Like (39)
    Follow
    Share
    With the President of United but Divided States slamming them to the world its impossible to stay positive!!! What leader complains about those that fight to keep him safe everyday!!!! Those that his spoiled brat ass kids get to bully he has crap to say!!!! Yea the need a boost
    Like (26)
    Follow
    Share
    ICE is today's Nazi SS. It should be abolished altogether.
    Like (21)
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    Waste of money.
    Like (14)
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    DHS leadership do your job, the President gave you an order. Either do it or resign. Protect our homeland and Build the wall. Do those things and morale will right it’s self. #MAGA
    Like (14)
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    Learn how to value human life and treating people with respect. Value opinions all opinions even if they disagree with what you think. Walk the talk. You know deep down what is right. Lead with your heart and love and you will never be wrong
    Like (12)
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    Are you serious? Snowflakes.
    Like (11)
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    Yes, DHS morale could be vastly improved by removing Trump from office.
    Like (10)
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    Fire the a-hole some call president. Morale will greatly improve!
    Like (8)
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    How about the Democraps and the liberal media stop portraying ICE as the evil bad guys. ICE was put in place by Congress and they are just operating under the guidelines of those laws. But as you can clearly see the Democraps are desperate for votes so they spin the fake news media rhetoric and make it look like these people are the enemy of the state. What a bunch of crap. This just proves how corrupt and desperate the Democrap party is! Build the wall!!!!
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    👍🏻👍🏻 House Bill H.R. 1433 AKA the DHS MORALE Act 👍🏻👍🏻 I firmly support and recommend the passage of House Bill H.R. 1433 AKA the DHS MORALE Act which would aim to support helping improve morale among the Dept. of Homeland Security’s (DHS) more than 240,000 employees by creating and cataloguing leadership development opportunities, identifying and addressing factors that impact employee engagement, and recognizing employee contributions. The workforce at Dept. of Homeland Security (DHS) has some of the lowest morale in the federal government. This affects hiring, retention, and employee wellness. This bill would seek to remedy this issue, making DHS employees happier and strengthening the agency. SneakyPete..... 👍🏻👍🏻HR.1433👍🏻👍🏻. 4*28*19.....
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    I care about ALL our law endorsement and their well-being. I'm appalled at some of the comments...It's always President Trump's fault or ICE are Nazis, or --fill in the latest democrat talking point. What a bunch of hooey. I can PROMISE you, we need them or else safety would take a turn for the worse. I'm just so over Trump hate.
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    Morale stinks among DHS because all of its employees know they’re implementing an IMMORAL agenda - asshole Trump’s. Increase morale by dumping President Shithead and then figure out how you’ll actually SERVE a productive cause, DHS?
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    I’m guesses DHS employees don’t enjoy locking up 14,000 kids and deporting parents because “we didn’t have a reunification process” and now it’s too hard to fix. We’re American, nothing is too hard. Plus if we can track female minors periods and pregnancies to control their care options sounds a LOT like authoritarianism. Are we there yet? I feel like you all are, which is why I contact you EVERYDAY. Do you hear me?
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    If you were passing the laws necessary for them to do their jobs there wouldn’t be any morale problems. Congress is the problem.
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    Spending a million every year to help morale is a waste of money. That’s a management problem and they should handle it. Our agency leadership has been eroded by unqualified nominees - political donors given cabinet positions. This must stop. Address the problem instead of increasing spending. Reject Ronald Vitiello's nomination as permanent head of ICE. The president has federal employees on his opponent list - Shutdown, no COLA, now cuts in his budget for federal workers & retirees. These people have difficult jobs, & he gives them no support or consideration. His blatant attack on federal employees has affected not just this organization, but all workers. There are Federal employees who don’t earn big salaries or big retirement benefits. They live payday to payday. They need COLA to offset increase in healthcare cost. Funds are appropriated to cover these costs.
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    This is a trick question isn’t it?
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