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News Release

Wednesday, November 18, 2009
Contact: Office of Communications
Tel: 202-606-2402

OPM Director John Berry lauds passage of Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act through House Committee on Oversight and Government Management

Bill provides essential recruitment tool for the Federal government

Washington, DC – Earlier today, the House Committee on Oversight and Government Management approved H.R. 2517, the Domestic Partnership Benefits and Obligations Act of 2009, sponsored by Representative Tammy Baldwin.  The measure extends benefits to the domestic partners of Federal employees, including participation in the Federal Employee Health Benefits (FEHB) Program, retirement and survivor benefits, relocation reimbursements and other benefits currently offered to spouses of Federal employees.  The Committee also adopted an amendment offered by Chairman Edolphus Towns that made changes to the legislation to ensure proper implementation.

“I want to commend the Committee for approving the Domestic Partnership Benefits Act,” said U.S. Office of Personnel Management Director John Berry.  “This is an essential recruitment tool as we seek the best and the brightest to tackle the many challenges America faces.”

Berry also said:  “This is a positive step that helps the federal government to better compete with other employers for top talent.  President Obama has stated clearly that this is an issue of equality.  But just as important, youth today, LGBT or not, see this benefit as a litmus test for determining high quality employers.  The Administration looks forward to continuing its work with lawmakers as the House and the Senate move toward enactment of this bill.”

OPM oversees human resources and benefits policies for over 1.9 million Federal civil servants and 2.5 million retirees and survivor annuitants.


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OPM leads and serves the Federal Government in enterprise human resources management by delivering policies and services to achieve a trusted, effective civilian workforce. By Empowering Excellence in Government through Great People, we provide leadership and support to U.S. agencies on issues including human resources policy and oversight, background investigations, federal employee benefits, retirement services, guidance on labor-management relations, and programs to improve workforce performance. For more information, visit or follow OPM on Twitter, Facebook, or LinkedIn.

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