Trump has endorsed a plan to purge the Civil Service of ‘rogue bureaucrats’

Former President Trump speaks at the America First Agenda Summit on July 26.

Former President Trump speaks at the America First Agenda Summit on July 26. Kyle Mazza/Anadolu Agency via Getty Images

Former Trump staffers have said they have identified 50,000 federal employees who would be ousted under a new iteration of Schedule F during the next Republican administration.

Former President Donald Trump on Tuesday seemed to endorse a recently unveiled plan by a cadre of his former staffers to strip tens of thousands of federal workers of their civil service protections and fire them at will under the next Republican administration.

Trump spoke Tuesday at an event hosted by the America First Policy Institute, a think tank founded by former staffers in his administration. His speech came on the heels of an Axios report last week that former White House aides are planning to revive the controversial Schedule F, a job classification system that would take current federal workers in “policy-related” positions out of the competitive service, stripping them of civil service protections and making them effectively at-will employees.

Schedule F was authorized via executive order in October 2020, but the Trump administration failed to implement the measure before he left office in January 2021. One of President Biden’s first acts as president was to rescind the edict.

“We need to make it much easier to fire rogue bureaucrats who are deliberately undermining democracy or, at a minimum, just want to keep their jobs,” Trump said. “They want to hold onto their jobs. Congress should pass historic reforms empowering the president to ensure that any bureaucrat who is corrupt, incompetent or unnecessary for the job can be told—did you ever hear this—‘You’re fired, get out, you’re fired.’ [You] have to do it. Deep state. Washington will be an entirely different place.”

Those involved in the effort to revive Schedule F told Government Executive last week that they have identified 50,000 federal employees that could be fired under the proposed new authority, although they hope to fire only a fraction of that total to create a “chilling effect” to keep the rest of them in line.

Schedule F was reviled by members of both parties, as well as good government groups, academics and federal employee unions, when it was unveiled in 2020. But lawmakers failed to act at the time to prevent its implementation, with Republicans and some members of Democratic leadership concluding that it would go away once Trump left office. Some experts warned it would return in some form with the next Republican administration.

Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., successfully amended the House version of the fiscal 2023 National Defense Authorization Act to include language barring a president from implementing Schedule F without first seeking congressional approval. But its inclusion in the final bill is far from a done deal. When the House Oversight Committee advanced legislation mirroring the language Connolly inserted into the defense policy bill, it did so along party lines.

During his speech, Trump cited a greatly exaggerated figure regarding how long it takes for a federal employee to be removed, provided they appeal their removal, to support giving the president greater leeway to fire feds.

“To fire someone who’s doing a bad job, if the government wins, will take 15 years under our current system,” he said. “Think of that: 15 years, almost all politicians will be long gone before that process even ends.”

When a federal employee is fired, they have 30 days to file an appeal with the Merit Systems Protection Board. An administrative judge is assigned within a week, and typically issues a decision in a period of months. An appeal can stretch over a year if the case is escalated to the full MSPB or federal court.

And although the MSPB only recently began to whittle down a historic backlog in cases, that backlog is in place in no small part because Trump himself failed to nominate members of that body who could be confirmed by the then-Republican controlled Senate. Prior to losing a quorum in 2017, the average time it took for MSPB to issue a decision was 93 days.

This article was published first on GovExec, a FederalSoup partner site. 

NEXT STORY: How to oversee $1 trillion dollars in relief

X
This website uses cookies to enhance user experience and to analyze performance and traffic on our website. We also share information about your use of our site with our social media, advertising and analytics partners. Learn More / Do Not Sell My Personal Information
Accept Cookies
X
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Do Not Sell My Personal Information

When you visit our website, we store cookies on your browser to collect information. The information collected might relate to you, your preferences or your device, and is mostly used to make the site work as you expect it to and to provide a more personalized web experience. However, you can choose not to allow certain types of cookies, which may impact your experience of the site and the services we are able to offer. Click on the different category headings to find out more and change our default settings according to your preference. You cannot opt-out of our First Party Strictly Necessary Cookies as they are deployed in order to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting the cookie banner and remembering your settings, to log into your account, to redirect you when you log out, etc.). For more information about the First and Third Party Cookies used please follow this link.

Allow All Cookies

Manage Consent Preferences

Strictly Necessary Cookies - Always Active

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data, Targeting & Social Media Cookies

Under the California Consumer Privacy Act, you have the right to opt-out of the sale of your personal information to third parties. These cookies collect information for analytics and to personalize your experience with targeted ads. You may exercise your right to opt out of the sale of personal information by using this toggle switch. If you opt out we will not be able to offer you personalised ads and will not hand over your personal information to any third parties. Additionally, you may contact our legal department for further clarification about your rights as a California consumer by using this Exercise My Rights link

If you have enabled privacy controls on your browser (such as a plugin), we have to take that as a valid request to opt-out. Therefore we would not be able to track your activity through the web. This may affect our ability to personalize ads according to your preferences.

Targeting cookies may be set through our site by our advertising partners. They may be used by those companies to build a profile of your interests and show you relevant adverts on other sites. They do not store directly personal information, but are based on uniquely identifying your browser and internet device. If you do not allow these cookies, you will experience less targeted advertising.

Social media cookies are set by a range of social media services that we have added to the site to enable you to share our content with your friends and networks. They are capable of tracking your browser across other sites and building up a profile of your interests. This may impact the content and messages you see on other websites you visit. If you do not allow these cookies you may not be able to use or see these sharing tools.

If you want to opt out of all of our lead reports and lists, please submit a privacy request at our Do Not Sell page.

Save Settings
Cookie Preferences Cookie List

Cookie List

A cookie is a small piece of data (text file) that a website – when visited by a user – asks your browser to store on your device in order to remember information about you, such as your language preference or login information. Those cookies are set by us and called first-party cookies. We also use third-party cookies – which are cookies from a domain different than the domain of the website you are visiting – for our advertising and marketing efforts. More specifically, we use cookies and other tracking technologies for the following purposes:

Strictly Necessary Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Functional Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Performance Cookies

We do not allow you to opt-out of our certain cookies, as they are necessary to ensure the proper functioning of our website (such as prompting our cookie banner and remembering your privacy choices) and/or to monitor site performance. These cookies are not used in a way that constitutes a “sale” of your data under the CCPA. You can set your browser to block or alert you about these cookies, but some parts of the site will not work as intended if you do so. You can usually find these settings in the Options or Preferences menu of your browser. Visit www.allaboutcookies.org to learn more.

Sale of Personal Data

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Social Media Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.

Targeting Cookies

We also use cookies to personalize your experience on our websites, including by determining the most relevant content and advertisements to show you, and to monitor site traffic and performance, so that we may improve our websites and your experience. You may opt out of our use of such cookies (and the associated “sale” of your Personal Information) by using this toggle switch. You will still see some advertising, regardless of your selection. Because we do not track you across different devices, browsers and GEMG properties, your selection will take effect only on this browser, this device and this website.