Senate Democrats urge Trump to reconsider, rescind civil service executive orders

congressU.S. Senator Chris Van Hollen led a letter with 44 of his Senate Democratic colleagues noting their serious concerns surrounding the President’s recent executive orders pertaining to civil service. The Senators urged the Administration to reconsider and rescind the Orders, pointing to the negative impacts they will have.

The Senators write, “We respectfully request that you reconsider and rescind Executive Orders 13836, 13837, and 13839, which undermine the lawful rights and protections afforded to federal employees. At a minimum, we hope you will ensure that managers at federal agencies do not use these executive orders inappropriately to circumvent existing collective bargaining agreements between agencies and federal workers.”

They state, “The approximately two million men and women in the federal civil service are dedicated and hardworking professionals. They safeguard our national security and food safety, perform lifesaving medical procedures, deliver Social Security and veterans’ benefits, and fulfill countless other responsibilities on behalf of our citizens. The recent executive orders undermine the decades-old rights of federal employees to fair representation in the workplace”

The Senators also note that they “support improving the performance of the federal workforce, but these executive orders will do the opposite” and that “[s]ome federal agencies already appear to be abrogating existing collective bargaining agreements by citing these executive orders.”

They close stating, “It is time to stop the attacks on our federal workers. These are also attacks on our veterans, who make up roughly one-third of the federal civilian workforce. We need to keep politics out of the civil service, and we urge you to reconsider these executive orders.”

In addition to Senator Van Hollen, the letter was signed by Senators Kaine (D-Va.), Brown (D-Ohio), Cardin (D-Md.), Schatz (D-Hawaii), Hirono (D-Hawaii), Warner (D-Va.), Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Shaheen (D-N.H.), Carper (D-Del.), Murray (D-Wash.), Markey (D-Mass.), Duckworth (D-Ill.), Cantwell (D-Wash.), Warren (D-Mass.), Hassan (D-N.H.), Harris (D-Calif.), Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Peters (D-Mich.), King (I-Maine), Sanders (I-Vt.), Baldwin (D-Wis.), Schumer (D-N.Y.), Durbin (D-Ill.), Reed (D-R.I.), Booker (D-N.J.), Smith (D-Minn.), Coons (D-Del.), Casey (D-Pa.), Bennet (D-Colo.), Menendez (D-N.J.), Udall (D-N.M.), Merkley (D-Ore.), Donnelly (D-Ind.), Wyden (D-Ore.), Cortez Masto (D-Nev.), Jones (D-Ala.), Feinstein (D-Calif.), Nelson (D-Fla.), Stabenow (D-Mich.), Heinrich (D-N.M.), Leahy (D-Vt.), Klobuchar (D-Minn.), and Murphy (D-Conn.).

The text of the letter is here.

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