WASHINGTON, D.C. | March 2, 2022 — NWC is pleased to announce that the Merit Systems Protection Board finally has a quorum for the first time in over five years. On March 1, 2022, the full Senate approved by unanimous voice vote the confirmations of Tristan Leavitt and Raymond Limon thereby giving the three-member MSPB its first quorum since January 8, 2017.
The MSPB is the independent federal agency tasked with enforcing employment and whistleblower protections for thousands of federal employees; however, having lacked a quorum, the MSPB has been unable to issue a single ruling––resulting in a backlog of some 3,500 pending cases, including at least 750 whistleblower retaliation cases.
With two of the three vacancies now filled, the MSPB can finally begin processing its significant caseload. The Board’s new members have pledged to utilize an expedited process to address the backlog as quickly as possible.
“NWC is ecstatic about the MSBP confirmations and the Board gaining Quorum. Federal whistleblowers have been waiting too long for justice, and it is our sincere hope that the Board can get proceedings up and running as soon as possible. This is a huge victory for whistleblowers, and we commend Senator Schumer and the rest of the Senate for doing the right thing!” said NWC’s Executive Director, Siri Nelson.
After an October 6, 2021 committee vote, the nominees stalled in the Senate. In February of 2022, NWC, along with nearly 100 leading civil society organizations, sent a letter to Senate Majority Leader Charles Schumer (D-NY) and Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY), urging them to hold a vote on the nominees immediately.
President Biden’s third and final MSPB nominee, Cathy Harris, is still awaiting a vote before the full Senate. NWC urges the swift confirmation of Ms. Harris in order to establish a fully functioning MSBP, which is critical to ensuring an effective civil service.
Still, the MSPB having finally attained a quorum is an important milestone that will hopefully provide relief to the thousands of federal employees who have been subjected to unfair retaliation or other prohibited personnel practices over the past five years.
NWC commends the members of the U.S. Senate for confirming the MSPB nominees.
For more information, contact NWC at firstname.lastname@example.org.