It looks like one of Team Trumpâ€™s last-minute efforts to destroy the civil service has fizzled. With less than a day to go, the plan to strip protections from tens of thousands of career federal employees hasnâ€™t been put into effect at any federal agency.
The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) and the Office of Personnel Management had rushed to list many of their jobs in the new Schedule F, a new classification for jobs involving policymaking. That means that career civil servants who have served under both presidents from both parties would be more like political appointees, vulnerable to being fired for insufficient loyalty. Itâ€™s a plan that would gut expertise in the federal government and remake it into Donald Trumpâ€™s loyalty-obsessed image.
But itâ€™s a plan that, fingers crossed, isnâ€™t going into effect anywhere. The Office of Personnel Managementâ€™s list of positions to move into Schedule F didnâ€™t move forward, The Washington Post reports, and Budget Director Russell Vought reportedly told staff that there wasnâ€™t time to put the changes into place at the OMB.
â€śIt logistically was never going to be possible for this to be put into effect,â€ť a senior administration official told the Post. The prospect was scary enough, though, that a lawyer for a federal workers union said, â€śIâ€™m holding my breath until weâ€™re out of the woodsâ€ťâ€”as in, when Trump is officially and finally out of office.
lf workers arenâ€™t shifted into Schedule F before noon on Wednesday, then President-elect Joe Biden inherits an executive order calling for those changes, but nothing concrete to undo or be stuck with. Itâ€™s just a really good thing that Team Trump hasnâ€™t been as competent as they have been evilâ€”theyâ€™ve done enough damage as it is.
This blog originally appeared at Daily Kos on January 19, 2021. Reprinted with permission.
About the Author: Laura Clawson has been a contributing editor since December 2006. Clawson has been full-time staff since 2011, and is currently assistant managing editor at the Daily Kos.