McEachin amendment protecting DOI employees from politically-motivated reassignments passes

Donald McEachinCongressman A. Donald McEachin (VA-04) issued the following statement after his amendment was adopted during consideration of H.R. 3055, the Commerce, Justice, Science, Agriculture, Rural Development, Food and Drug Administration, Interior, Environment, Military Construction, Veterans Affairs, Transportation, and Housing and Urban Development Appropriations Act, 2020.

The amendment ensures that the composition of the Department of the Interior’s Executive Resources Board – the body which decides whether Senior Executive Service (SES) members are reassigned – is balanced equally between political appointees and non-political career civil servants.

“I am proud that my amendment has been adopted,” said Congressman A. Donald McEachin. “SES members are some of the most highly trained, well-qualified, and experienced individuals within the Department of the Interior. Unfortunately, many of these individuals have been unfairly reassigned to unfavorable posts due to political differences with the administration, rather than based on performance or qualifications. Over the last two years, we have seen several well-respected and highly-qualified individuals resign in protest. My amendment seeks to address this injustice, and I will continue to stand up for these hard-working employees.”

Guaranteeing Department of the Interior’s Executive Resources Board is fairly balanced will ensure that important decisions about reassignments and other actions are made based on genuine need, rather than for arbitrary or politically-motivated reasons. This amendment is consistent with the guidance issued by the Office of Personnel Management, the Department of the Interior’s Inspector General, and Title 5 of the U.S. Code.

View amendment text here.


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