Democrats scramble to protect federal workers ahead of midterms, possible Trump return in 2024


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House Democrats are expected to pass legislation next week that would make it harder for the president to change procedures within the federal workforce, a sign Democrats are hedging their bets against returning former President Donald Trump.

Trump has only hinted at the possibility of running again in 2024, and it’s unclear if he’ll make a successful comeback in two years. But for House Democrats, the writing on the wall is a bit clearer — polls consistently show Republicans are likely to regain control of the House midterm. According to Fox News Power Rankings, Republicans are expected win the House in November, but by a smaller margin than expected, when neither party can yet claim a majority in the Senate.

That means Democrats may only have a few months until the midterm elections to shape policy the way they see fit, and one of their priorities is to protect federal workers from the actions a Potentially re-elected Trump, or another Republican, would likely take.

Just before Trump left office, he signed an executive order establishing a new classification of federal workers known as Schedule F. The executive order directed federal agencies to place thousands of workers in this category, which would deprive them of due process rights afforded to most. federal civil servants and facilitate their dismissal.

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Former President Donald Trump speaks to supporters during a rally, Sept. 3, 2022, in Wilkes-Barre, Pennsylvania.
(Spencer Platt/Getty Images)

For the Trump camp, it was a last-ditch effort to “drain the swamp” of officials who were resisting his policy prescriptions. But Democrats saw it as a political attack on the government’s merit-based civilian labor system that has been in place for 150 years, and a return to the patronage or “loot” system of labor management. -federal workforce.

President Biden rescinded Trump’s order, but in view of possible preparation for another White House race, Trump said in March that he wanted to make “every employee in the executive branch president-dischargeable.” “.

Next week, Democrats will try to stop that from happening. Lawmakers will begin work on the Patronage System Prevention Act, which would prevent any federal service job from being reclassified outside of the regular merit system without congressional consent.

The goal is to require any future president to obtain congressional authorization before implementing any Schedule F plan, with a potential return of Trump to the White House top of their minds. In a July op-ed for The Washington Post, Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., accused Trump of planning to “replace vast swaths of government experts with his own army of tens of thousands of loyalists.”

SENATE DEMOCRATS BACK BIDEN’S PORTRAIT OF ‘MAGA REPUBLICANS’ AS THREATS TO DEMOCRACY

Representative Gerry Connolly speaks during a press conference at the United States Capitol, November 9, 2021.

Representative Gerry Connolly speaks during a press conference at the United States Capitol, November 9, 2021.
(Michael Brochstein/SOPA Images)

“This is a direct threat to democracy and the rule of law,” Connolly wrote. “The only reason Trump is doing this is to make it easier to fire federal employees who dare to disagree with him.”

Connolly and other Democrats are so worried about the possibility of Trump’s return that next week’s vote will be the second time the House has approved such language. A similar restriction was placed in the annual Defense Policy Bill earlier this year, but Connolly says prevention is better than cure.

“Trump and his cronies have made it clear they want to dismantle the merit-based public service,” Connolly said in a statement to Fox News Digital. “I pledge to end this attack on our democracy and thank House leaders for bringing this bill forward. We must keep all options on the table.”

A man holds a Trump 2024 flag outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida following the FBI raid on Donald Trump's home.

A man holds a Trump 2024 flag outside Mar-a-Lago in Palm Beach, Florida following the FBI raid on Donald Trump’s home.
(Alon Skuy/Fox News Digital)

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Republicans fought the legislation during its 2021 committee review and argued that the way federal officials stood up to Trump is a good example of why the president needs more authority to fire people. officials when they oppose the will of the American people.

“[I]In recent years – and particularly under the Trump administration – an increasing number of public servants in politically related positions have resisted the policies and political direction of the duly elected president,” said House Oversight and Reform Republicans. Committee.” As University of Chicago Law School professor Jennifer Nou recounts, Trump administration officials “would have created support groups to oppose the Trump administration and signed up for workshops on how to resist”.

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“This is unacceptable in a government that wants to be accountable to voters – not the whims or ideological leanings of career civil servants,” the Republicans warned.


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