Appropriators Urged to Block Funding for Schedule F in Upcoming Funding Bill

Categories: The Insider

Appropriators working on the next funding bill for fiscal year 2020 have been asked to urgently block funding for President Trump’s Schedule F executive order (EO) aimed at allowing the administration to hire and fire federal employees for political reasons.  

In light of recent news reports that the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has reclassified 88% of its 425-employee workforce as Schedule F, a group of members of Congress led by Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.) sent a letter to the chairs and ranking members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees, urging them to reverse Trump’s harmful Schedule F order in the next funding bill. 

“We write with great urgency to request that the forthcoming continuing resolution or omnibus spending bill include language that reverses the implementation of this executive order and requires the immediate return of any federal employee reclassified pursuant to it,” they wrote. “The executive order contradicts 137 years of tradition and practice based on merit systems principles. It would expedite the hiring of political appointees into jobs without regard to merit and place them in roles best served by career civil servants—including economists, scientists, and data analysts.”  

“This action could multiply the number of political appointees within the federal workforce by tens of thousands and permit the firing of current federal employees whom agency heads determine make “substantive contributions to executive branch policy,” they added. 

The letter is the latest in a series of actions taken by members of Congress after Trump on Oct. 21 issued an executive order creating a new service classification called Schedule F for any career federal employee whose job is in any way connected to federal policy. This new classification will put tens of thousands of current and future federal workers in “policy-making” positions and strip them of important workplace protections against mistreatment or discrimination, such as an unfair removal. It will politicize the civil service, allowing the administration to hire and fire for political reasons.  

On Nov. 18, a group of senators, led by Sen. Gary Peters, D-Mich., introduced a bill that would prohibit any funds from being spent to implement, administer, or otherwise carry out the EO.  

Earlier this month, a similar bill was introduced in the House of Representatives that would block Trump’s Schedule F executive order. The bill, H.R. 8687, was introduced by Connolly; Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.; and Majority Leader Hoyer.  

Thirty-one members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform also sent a letter to the Trump administration, demanding that the administration immediately stop any activities related to the implementation of President Trump’s Schedule F executive order. 

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