Federal Official Schools Lauren Boebert As She Insults Government Workers

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This week, a subcommittee of the House Oversight Committee held a hearing covering federal policies related to telework, and in her questioning of Oren “Hank” McKnelly, an executive counselor in the Social Security Administration, Rep. Lauren Boebert (R-Colo.) made attention-grabbing claims but found little to support her position. In rather direct terms, she characterized allowances at McKnelly’s agency for telework as allegedly facilitating laziness.

McKnelly explained in return that the vast majority of key workers have been conducting work in the office for years at this point following the initial chaos of the COVID-19 pandemic, and for those for whom telework opportunities are made available, there remain strict safeguards like those for other employees. The idea that these federal personnel are permitted to operate with little to no substantive supervision is not based in reality. The problem sparking significant backlogs at the agency was a lack of effective funding to expand operations to meet the need, McKnelly told Boebert.

“You all are allowing delinquent employees to sit on their sofas at home instead of actually getting to work and doing their jobs,” Boebert alleged. “This is absolutely unacceptable.”

“So, our employees are working whether they are in the office or at home,” McKnelly told the Colorado Congresswoman.

“Are you monitoring the work that they are doing from home on a regular basis?” Boebert cut in, with the official replying affirmatively.

The official explained as follows: “Our employees are subject to the same performance management processes and oversight they are whether they’re teleworking or working in the office, and we have systems in place that our managers use to schedule, assign, and track workloads, and that includes individual employee workloads in many cases. So, real-time understanding of what actions are being processed at any particular given time. Additionally, our employees are required to be accessible to their supervisors, clients, colleagues, and external parties during work hours via a variety of means.”

Check out the exchange below: