Congressman Andy Biggs (R-AZ-05) on Thursday introduced new legislation to require in-person work for federal agencies.

Specifically, the bill, entitled the Return to Work Act, would mandate the agencies to reinstate their telework policies used prior to the COVID-19 pandemic.

“Beginning on the date on which the head of an executive agency reinstates the telework policies in use by such executive agency on December 31, 2019, the reinstated telework policy of such executive agency shall apply in place of any telework provision of a teleworking, collective bargaining, or other employment agreement of such executive agency to the extent that such telework provision conflicts with, or applies a different telework policy than, the reinstated telework policy of such executive agency,” the text of the bill reads.

According to Biggs, the large number of individuals conducting remote work has led to a backlog of requests and other inefficiencies.

Earlier last year, the Department of State reported a large number of backlogs in passports, forcing individuals to wait up to 12 weeks to access the document required for international travel.

“The majority of Americans have returned to work. There’s no excuse for federal agencies to continue a strict telework schedule for their employees,” said Congressman Andy Biggs. “By not coming to the office, federal agencies have created a backlog of service requests. This backlog has prevented many Americans, especially our veterans, from receiving the service and care they need. Americans are deservedly frustrated that they are not receiving the services that are owed to them. It’s well overdue for our federal workers to join the rest of the workforce and return to the office.”

Biggs has also advocated for the return to in-person learning for students who have struggled with virtual learning during the pandemic.

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Cooper Moran is a reporter for The Arizona Sun Times and The Star News Network.  Email tips to [email protected]