Trump Lifting Federal Hiring Freeze

Apr 13, 2017, 01:20
Trump Lifting Federal Hiring Freeze

The federal hiring freeze imposed shortly after Trump entered office will be lifted on Wednesday, but agencies will be asked to remain mindful of Trump's goal to reduce the federal workforce, Mulvaney said during a briefing.

Mulvaney called the order a more surgical plan than the hiring freeze - which ends April 12 - noting that the so-called "skinny budget" outlines which agencies will likely grow and which will nearly certainly see workforce reductions.

"‶This is a big part of draining the swamp", said Mick Mulvaney, the White House budget director, according to the New York Times.

The president signed the memorandum in January freezing large portions of federal government hiring, while exempting the military and positions deemed necessary for national security and public safety.

"The executive branch of government has never been rebuilt", Mulvaney said, claiming this effort will be more far-reaching than those of previous administrations.

The Trump administration's budget calls for across the board cuts to a number of agencies, including the Environmental Protection Agency, the Department of Education, the State Department and the Department of Commerce.

He said that getting lobbyists out of the process was part of it, but that so was restructuring the government, including being able to reward people doing good jobs and find a way to get the others to follow suit or get out. At the start of the Reagan administration in 1981, the total federal workforce, including the executive branch, the legislative branch, and uniformed military personnel, was just under five million. It will be up to the respective affected agencies to offer up plans for how they will plan to comply with the new guidance.

Mulvaney made the point clear on Tuesday: "The government hiring freeze will end with the release of this guidance". Many large-scale changes to the government - for example, a consolidation of offices with similar missions - would have to be approved by Congress.

The White House is requiring agencies to improve the effectiveness and accountability of their employees, by rewarding high performers and clearing a straighter path to take action against poor ones. The bank, he said, is "going to continue to exist" under President Trump, Mulvaney told CNBC. Agencies Trump wants to spend more on, like the Department of Veterans Affairs, would be expected to see their payrolls rise.

Additionally, there are concerns that hiring freezes and job cuts will adversely impact veterans, many of whom leave their service and hope to land federal government jobs.

Not every department gets a cut under Trump's plan.

Mr. Trump's proposed budget for fiscal 2018, which begins October 1, envisions spending roughly the same $1.1 trillion on discretionary programs as the current budget.