26 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Republicans back PS purge plan

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Several prominent members of the United States Republican Party, including possible 2024 presidential candidates, have said they support former President Donald Trump’s plan to make it easier to dismiss Federal Public Servants.

This means that even if Mr Trump does not run again, the next Republican President might try to reimpose the Executive Order known as Schedule F.

Increasingly concerned Democrats are moving to block that possibility with six Senators, led by Tim Kaine, introducing legislation to protect career officials against future efforts to reimpose the deeply controversial Trump-era order, which was rescinded by President Joe Biden at the start of his term.

However, Former Secretary of State, Mike Pompeo and Republican Senator, Ted Cruz said they supported using a measure like Schedule F to reform the Federal bureaucracy and strip Public Servants from their positions in crucial Government Agencies.

Others, including Florida Governor, Ron DeSantis and Senators, Marco Rubio and Rick Scott, showed openness to the approach.

Those aligned with Mr Trump on Schedule F said the apolitical Public Service was a myth — that it was stacked with liberals who went all out to block conservatives from exercising policy muscle won fairly in elections.

However, others see that argument as cover for a power play to destroy the Public Service, disrupt continuity of Government, trigger mass resignations, establish loyalty tests, politicise the bureaucracy and send a chilling effect through virtually every Agency.

Mr Pompeo (pictured) said Schedule F was a step in the right direction.

“We need to do more to hold the Washington bureaucracy accountable,” Mr Pompeo said.

“Great employees need to be rewarded and under-performers shown the door,” he said.

“With our security and economy at risk, we need effective institutions.

“Americans don’t want bureaucrats or ideologues; we want competence.”

Washington, 5 August 2022

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