November 18, 2020

Feinstein, Peters, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Block Trump Order Stripping Federal Employees of Critical Protections

WashingtonSenator Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) joined Senator Gary Peters (D-Mich.) and a group of their colleagues to introduce 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.

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.

In addition to Feinstein and Peters, the legislation was cosponsored by Senators Ben Cardin (D-Md.), Richard Blumenthal (D-Conn.), Chris Van Hollen (D-Md.), Sherrod Brown (D-Ohio), Mark Warner (D-Va.), Chris Coons (D-Del.), Tim Kaine (D-Va.), Jack Reed (D-R.I.), Ed Markey (D-Mass.), Brian Schatz (D-Hawaii), Tammy Baldwin (D-Wis.), Kirsten Gillibrand (D-N.Y.), Tammy Duckworth (D-Ill.), Amy Klobuchar (D-Minn.), Sheldon Whitehouse (D-R.I.), Patty Murray (D-Wash.), Tina Smith (D-Minn.), Tom Carper (D-Del.), Elizabeth Warren (D-Mass.), Michael Bennet (D-Colo.), Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), Bob Casey (D-Pa.), Bob Menendez (D-N.J.), Doug Jones (D-Ala.), Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii), Dick Durbin (D-Ill.), Ron Wyden (D-Ore.), Cory Booker (D-N.J.), Kyrsten Sinema (D-Ariz.), Jeff Merkley (D-Ore.), Jeanne Shaheen (D-N.H.), Jacky Rosen (D-Nev.), Tom Udall (D-N.M.), Martin Heinrich (D-N.M.), Jon Tester (D-Mont.), Maggie Hassan (D-N.H.), Chris Murphy (D-Conn.) Angus King (I-Maine) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.).

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