Press Releases

Beyer Joins Connolly, Hoyer Connolly, Hoyer Urging Appropriators to Block Trump’s Schedule F Order in Upcoming Spending Bill

Today, Rep. Beyer joined Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), and 11 Members of Congress sent a letter to the Chairs and Ranking Members of the House and Senate Appropriations Committees to request that the forthcoming government funding bill include language that reverses President Trump’s harmful Schedule F Executive Order.

The executive order, issued on October 21, 2020, would create a new Schedule F class of federal employees, stripping them of critical civil service protections and opening the door to the widespread replacement of experienced, non-partisan civil servants with partisan loyalists. 

“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,” wrote the Members in their letter. “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.”

“This executive order, which the Trump Administration is rushing to implement without adequate analysis just weeks before the President leaves office, could precipitate an exodus from the federal government, leaving agencies without deep institutional knowledge, expertise, experience, and the ability to develop and implement long-term policy strategies,” the Members continued. “We ask that you join us in reversing this harmful executive order.” 

In addition to Connolly and Hoyer, the letter was signed by: Reps. John Sarbanes (D-MD), Jackie Speier (D-CA), Ro Khanna (D-CA), Stephen Lynch (D-MA), Jamie Raskin (D-MD), Jennifer Wexton (D-VA), David Trone (D-MD), Anthony Brown (D-MD), Eleanor Holmes Norton (D-DC) and Stacey Plaskett (D-VI).

Connolly, Hoyer, and Rep. Carolyn Maloney (D-NY), the Chairwoman of the Oversight and Reform Committee, have also introduced the Saving the Civil Service Act to prohibit funds from being used to implement the order.

Full text of the letter can be found here and below. 

Dear Chairwoman Lowey, Chairman Shelby, Ranking Member Granger, and Vice Chairman Leahy: 

The American people rely each day on the expertise and dedication of our nation’s federal workforce. On October 21, 2020, President Donald Trump issued an executive order that would undermine the foundation of that workforce—our civil service of non-partisan professionals who serve all Americans without regard to political party. These civil servants use data, evidence, and expertise to conduct scientific research for a coronavirus vaccine, develop the policies to fight fires that are ravaging Colorado and California, and protect our national security from threats at home and abroad. 

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. 

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.”

According to recent media reports, the Office and Management and Budget (OMB) has already completed its request for reclassifying positions pursuant to the executive order. The report states that “OMB Director Russ Vought has classified 88% of that agency’s workforce, 425 employees.”

This executive order, which the Trump Administration is rushing to implement without adequate analysis just weeks before the President leaves office, could precipitate an exodus from the federal government, leaving federal agencies without deep institutional knowledge, expertise, experience, and the ability to develop and implement long-term policy strategies. In addition, if the incoming Biden Administration repeals the executive order in whole or in part, implementing it now would waste significant time and resources as a result of the unnecessary classification and reclassification of thousands of federal employees. 

We ask that you join us in reversing this harmful executive order. Please consider using some or all of the legislative language in the Saving the Civil Service Act, sponsored by Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer and Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney. 

Sincerely,