27 September 2023

UNITED STATES: Trump promises to ‘purge’ bureaucracy

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Former United States President, Donald Trump is ready to declare war on the Federal Public Service should he regain power in the 2024 election.

Former aides close to Mr Trump (pictured) have been set to work reviving and expanding his signature proposal to upend the Public Service, quickly purging thousands of Federal employees if he were to return to office.

The plan would bring back Schedule F, a workforce initiative Mr Trump pushed in the 11th hour of his term to politicise the bureaucracy.

His former and current confidantes are, through a network of Trump-loyal think tanks and public policy organisations, creating lists of names to supplant existing Public Servants.

They have identified 50,000 current employees to dismiss under the new authority they seek to create, though they expect to only actually fire a fraction of that total and hope the resulting “chilling effect” would cause the rest to fall in line.

In October 2020, Mr Trump signed his controversial Executive Order creating Schedule F, a new class of Federal employees exempted from the competitive service.

The Order sought to remove career Federal workers in “confidential, policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating” jobs from the General Schedule into a new job classification where virtually all of their Public Service protections were absent.

Although the Trump Administration began efforts to reclassify jobs into the new Schedule F, they ultimately were unable to move any workers before January 2021, and President Joe Biden quickly signed an Executive Order rescinding the edict as one of his first acts as President.

The former Trump Administration officials envision quickly shifting many employees under the new classification, making those positions eligible for quick hiring and firing without the normal protections afforded to Public Servants.

The new flexibility would allow a future Trump Administration to get rid of any employees it deems as standing in the way of implementing its agenda and replace them with loyalists.

“It literally takes five minutes to reissue it,” a former Trump Administration official said of Schedule F’s revival.

Washington, 2 2 July 2022

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