Trump’s Schedule F effort under continued scrutiny

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The Trump administration scheme to create a new class of federal employees answering to the president faces a new congressional challenge.

Virginia Democrat Gerry Connolly, the chairman of the House Subcommittee on Government Operations, has 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 reversing the Schedule F Executive Order.

The executive order, issued on Oct. 21, 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,” the members wrote 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 letter continued. “We ask that you join us in reversing this harmful executive order.”

In addition to Connolly and House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD), 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), Don Beyer (D-VA), 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.


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