Thirty-one members of the House Committee on Oversight and Reform sent a letter to the Trump administration, demanding that the administration immediately stop any activities related to the implementation of President Trump’s executive order aimed at allowing the administration to hire and fire federal workers for political reasons.
Trump’s Oct. 21 executive order creates 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 hundreds 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.
In the letter, the lawmakers laid out all the ill effects of the order and chastised the administration for developing it in secret without consulting the committee, which has direct jurisdiction over the federal civil service.
“The executive order would erode due process protections for civil service employees and make it easier for the Administration to fire qualified individuals who base their professional opinions on evidence, science, and analysis. It would expedite the hiring of Trump loyalists and place them in roles best served by career civil servants,” they wrote. “The executive order purports to help managers remove poor performing employees, but it incorporates none of the multitude of remedies offered by experts. Instead, it seeks to undo 137 years of merit system hiring. It is a blatant return to patronage politics and a federal workforce based on cronyism and nepotism.”
“We request that you immediately cease any activities related to the implementation of this executive order while the Committee obtains documents and information regarding the development of this policy and any analyses you or others have conducted estimating or assessing the potential effects of the executive order on federal employees, agency missions, and services on which the American people rely,” they added.
The lawmakers gave the administration until Nov. 11 to produce documents and communications related to the development of the executive order, including all communications with Heritage Foundation employees or officials.
Bill introduced to block the executive order
Meanwhile, a bill has been introduced to block this executive order.
The bill, H.R. 8687, was introduced by House Subcommittee on Government Operations Chairman Gerald Connolly, D-Va.; Oversight and Reform Committee Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney, D-N.Y.; and Majority Leader Steny Hoyer, D-Md.
AFGE supports the bill and thanks Reps. Connolly, Maloney, and Hoyer for their leadership in protecting the public service from being politicized.
AFGE is asking our members to urge their representatives to cosponsor H.R. 8687, the Saving the Civil Service Act, to help fight this attack on dedicated public servants. Click here to tell your lawmakers to cosponsor the bill.
The Saving the Civil Service Act would reverse this executive order by:
- Prohibiting the use of funds to implement the executive order
- Converting back any position that’s transferred into Schedule F due to this executive order
- Reinstating with backpay anyone converted to Schedule F and subsequently fired.
“This Executive Order is based on nothing – no data, no evidence of a problem, and no consultation with stakeholders, including Congress,” said Rep. Connolly. “It is a last-ditch attempt by the Trump administration to make it easier to remove federal employees who they deem aren’t “loyal enough” to the President and return us to a patronage politics. The Saving the Civil Service Act would reverse this ill-advised, unstudied, and detrimental proposal.”
According to guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management, agencies will have wide latitude in choosing which positions should be transferred into Schedule F.
“This is the most profound undermining of the civil service in our lifetimes,” said AFGE President Everett Kelley.