Press Releases

Trump Unleashes Radical Attack On American Civil Service

Little-noticed Executive Order would undermine the Pendleton Act, allowing punishment or firing of federal workers for perceived political disloyalty to the President

Rep. Don Beyer today issued the following statement on President Trump’s Executive Order attempting to weaken reforms established under the 137-year-old Pendleton Act, which ended the spoils system and established a new federal workforce built on merit and service rather than political loyalty to the President:

“The President’s Executive Order is an attempt to redefine the civil service as a political arm of the presidency rather than public servants who work for the American people.

“The stated goal in the text of the order itself weakening union protections and making it easier to fire senior federal employees is to make the federal workforce more loyal to the President. Such open cronyism does not benefit the country, it benefits the President.

“It is particularly noteworthy that President Trump introduced this measure as he publicly feuds with medical and scientific experts like Dr. Anthony Fauci. Trump seeks to blame others for his incompetent failures on the pandemic at every turn, and this order shows the lengths to which those around him are willing to go to appease his Nixonian sense of paranoia.

“I will be discussing legislative remedies with my colleagues to prevent this order from punishing federal workers, as it is clearly intended to do.”

Beyer represents the largest number of federal workers of any member of the House of Representatives.