November 20, 2020

Gillibrand, Colleagues Introduce Legislation To Block Trump Order Stripping Federal Employees Of Critical Protections

U.S. Senator Kirsten Gillibrand joined 40 of her colleagues in introducing legislation that would block the implementation of an October 21 Executive Order by President Trump, which created a new classification for federal employees, Schedule F. This harmful executive order would make it easier for the Administration to fire non-partisan civil servants with policy expertise.

“Throughout this transition, the Trump administration continues to find ways to obstruct a historically peaceful and professional process,” said Senator Gillibrand. “This recent order creating a new classification for federal employees could have deep and lasting consequences across our federal government. That’s why I’ve joined my colleagues in introducing a bill that would protect our country’s national security and address the ongoing pandemic.”

On October 21, President Trump signed an executive order that would allow agency heads to convert certain policy-centric positions to a new classification, Schedule F, where there is greater flexibility to fire those employees. Office of Personnel Management (OPM) Acting Director Michael Rigas issued preliminary guidance on October 23 that suggests a broad interpretation of the types of positions that would be eligible for conversion. This has created concern that the Administration could fire civil servants and create uncertainty in federal agencies that are critical to protecting the nation’s national security and addressing the ongoing pandemic. OPM has still not answered basic questions regarding the development, implementation and potential consequences of this hastily issued executive order.

Read the text of the bill here.