New bill would force federal workers to return to in-person offices

There's a new effort on Capitol Hill to get federal workers to stop working from home. House Republicans have introduced the Show Up Act, a new bill that would force the return of big numbers of the federal workforce to in-person office spaces.

A survey done by the Office of Personnel Management of 500,000 federal workers found that 25% were teleworking three days a week.

Republicans are now reintroducing the Show Up Act after they tried and failed to get it passed back in May when Democrats controlled the House.

READ MORE: More than half of employees prefer mix of in-person, remote working, survey says

"Even our veterans have been facing trouble accessing their records of their service to receive medical care and benefits they are entitled to," says Republican Rep. Yvette Herrel of New Mexico. "Let’s be clear, federal employees not being in the workplace has hurt the government’s ability to achieve its mission."

The new chairman of the House Oversight Committee James Comer sent a letter to the General Services Administrator Robin Carnahan, wanting to know why she's been working remotely outside of D.C. 

Some critics of the Show Up Act tell FOX 5 that if Republicans were serious about improving customer service for taxpayers, they wouldn't be trying to slash billions of dollars from the IRS budget.

READ MORE: Remote work may ‘improve resiliency of employees,’ study finds

"They’re really making a statement about what their priorities are which is about taking money away from the IRS which we don’t think is a great thing because this new infusion of funding would actually make the customer service experience better for consumers and small businesses across the country," says former Obama administration staffer and Public Private Strategies founder Rhett Buttle.

The American Federation of Government Employees tells FOX 5 that bills like the Show Up Act denigrate the federal workforce and undermine recruitment and retention.

FOX 5 also reached out to the General Services Administration for comment, but we have not yet heard back.