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Trump Assault On Civil Service Presents Unprecedented Threat To Sabotage Incoming Administration

The reported reclassification of career federal employees at the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) is likely the beginning of a new campaign of sabotage by the outgoing president against his successor. Operating under President Trump’s recent Executive Order that employs means of dubious legality to bypass federal employee protections, OMB reclassified 88% of its workforce as “Schedule F,” effectively making them subject to termination without cause. Every federal agency was directed by the White House to determine which of its employees would be reclassified under the order prior to the January 20 Inauguration, and more such determinations may soon follow OMB’s.

Rep. Don Beyer, who represents the district with the largest number of federal workers in the U.S. House of Representatives, issued the following statement today:

“Trump’s latest assault on the civil service represents an unprecedented threat to sabotage an incoming presidential administration, and Congress must fight it.

“The ‘Schedule F’ reclassification amounts to a claim that Trump has the authority to fire almost every career employee without cause and replace them with Trump loyalists. Congress passed the Pendleton Act and the numerous legislative additions specifically to prevent this kind of mass political loyalty test. The civil service works for the country and the people, not one for the personal benefit of one person, and Donald Trump is a lame duck who was just overwhelmingly rejected in his bid for reelection.

“Trump’s reclassification of the OMB workforce does not arise from of an abiding concern about the budget, he is trying to harm his successor’s ability to run the federal government during a pandemic and economic crisis. These attempts to destroy basic protections for the federal workforce and to salt the earth for President-elect Biden are contemptible, and will meet with strong resistance.”

Beyer joined with his colleagues this week in asking congressional appropriators to bar funding for implementation of Trump’s “Schedule F” Executive Order in the December omnibus spending bill. Beyer is also a cosponsor of legislation to nullify the order.