Donald Trump in 2016 (Photo by Joseph Sohm/Shutterstock)

Report: WH actively hunting 'disloyal' feds

Federal employee unions and other employee organizations have long complained the current administration is uniquely out of step—breaking custom and sometimes the law—in pressuring feds to be more about loyalty to political leadership and less about apolitical agency mission, Government Executive reports.

In the report, a White House spokesman appears to flat-out confirm this complaint, in a recent television interview—in contrast to the denials often heard from most administration officials when pressed on the issue.

Although the spokesperson did not specify any particular employees or agency—or mention directly the civil service—he did mention the millions employed by the federal government. To many, this left a clear impression he was not referring to the relatively few thousand political appointees—but rather to the wider federal workforce, raising a red flag, the article notes.

From the passage of the Pendleton Civil Service Reform Act of 1883, to the Hatch Act of 1939, to the Civil Service Reform Act of 1978 and beyond, there has been a growing body of law separating the electoral political considerations of any given White House from the civil service—and, though imperfect, protecting the day-to-day work of federal employees from direct political interference and retaliation.

According to an official report from the Office of Special Counsel, the prohibited personnel practice prohibition has been breached under this administration, in terms of recorded incidents, more often than ever before.

Reader comments

Mon, Mar 23, 2020

If you don’t like the current administration that is your right. However it is illegal to leak information or do other words or acts that are detrimental to the function of the government or is detrimental to America. If you can’t support the efforts of the current administration you should resign

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

Lots of comments about "disrespect" for the president. Presumably, that means federal employees are not allowed to criticize the president, maybe even on their own time, off government facilities and not using government IT and equipment. The most common outcome they suggest is that those who "disrespect" the president should leave government employment. If Trump is re-elected, I wonder whether this will get worse. Will membership in the Democratic Party, donating to progressive causes, or writing critical comments on forums be considered sufficient cause for dismissal? Trump supporters should be careful. One day, a Democrat will be president again and they may not have much of a defense if ideologically driven partisans push for combing through forum comments for criticism of Democrats, and those considered insufficiently loyal may be requested to leave government service or shut up.

Thu, Mar 5, 2020

I've been a political appointee and a GS under both Republican and Democrat presidents. I don't get top decide policy; I get to implement administration policy and offer my opinion if asked. I do not leak or talk to the press and try to do my job for the taxpayer. If you don't like the direction your department or agency is taking (and it's legal and ethical) then get out.

Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Blatant disrespect for the President. You only get respect if you earn it and this looser has done nothing to earn any. If you believe that he is such a great President then you are a looser as well. Vote him out. 2020 Anyone but TRUMP

Wed, Mar 4, 2020

Just because you work for the government and are a loyal federal employee does not mean you support the president. I have been one for over 30 years and there is nothing about this waste of a president that I do support.

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