The former president is teasing another run for the White House, despite emerging, and potentially disqualifying, legal issues in connection with his role in the Jan. 6, 2021 Capitol riots. He also is telegraphing plans to end the professionalized civil service as we know it, reclassifying tens of thousands of feds as politically vulnerable, at-will "Schedule F" workers.
For feds, the danger of far fewer protections for their public service jobs looms a little larger again this summer.
The once and future driving force behind the most draconian of such plans—former president Trump—has been out of office for over a year and a half now. But in recent weeks he is signaling strongly intent to run for another term in the White House (most recently saying to a conservative podcaster it would be “very hard” not to run.) If successful, Trump has said he intends to revive plans to make much of the federal civil service “at will,” with few job protections at all—leaving feds exposed to plenty of political pressure to boot.
Trump actually made clear his support to revive his at-will, “Schedule F” plan months ago. “We will pass critical reforms making every executive branch employee fireable by the president of the United States,” he said in March, as reported by GovExec. “The deep state must and will be brought to heel.”
More recently, he has amplified these designs—alongside repeated teases that he will run. In a return to holding rallies and speech events in recent weeks, Trump has railed against long-professionalized public servants, and been clear that he would insist on civil servants being dismissible, by the president or his political appointees. "To drain the swamp, we need to fire the swamp," he said at one such event last month, in Tampa, according to Axios.com. He reiterated similar intentions at an July 28 event in Washington, according to Business Insider.
Late in his presidency, in October 2020, Trump introduced Schedule F as a new job category—one under which tens of thousands of feds would be stripped of just about all current workplace rights, such as appealing adverse job actions, as codified for decades (and in some respects over a hundred years) by law and regulations. Huge numbers of feds would be transitioned to at-will status.
Trump began implementing Schedule F with an executive order. President Biden reversed his predecessor’s EO at the very start of his term, in January 2021, shutting down the program. Click here to see a full Axios report on this issue.
NEXT STORY: State, USAID: Diversity issues persist