House Dems press OPM to block Trump's civil service overhaul

US Representative Carolyn Maloney attends festival on Roosevelt Island NY April 2019 - Image Editorial credit: lev radin / 

Carolyn Maloney attends a New York City festival in April, 2019. (Photo credit: lev radin /

More than 30 House Democrats are calling for an immediate halt to the implementation of President Trump recent executive order to reclassify elements of the civil service as at-will employees.

Reps. Carolyn Maloney (D-N.Y.), chairwoman of the Committee of Oversight and Reform, and Gerry Connolly (D-Md.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Government and Operations, led Committee Democrats in a letter addressed to Michael Rigas, the acting director of the Office of Personnel Management.

The executive order "was developed in secret with no consultation whatsoever with our Committee, which has direct jurisdiction over the federal civil service," they said, and without input from the federal Chief Human Capital Officers Council.

Lawmakers requested documents by Nov. 11 about the development of the executive order and analyses about its potential impact on federal employees, agency missions or services. They also requested communications about the executive order between the conservative Heritage Foundation and with officials at federal agencies before or after its release, citing a Washington Post report that the order was fashioned by a former Heritage staffer who works on the Domestic Policy Council at the White House.

"The executive order purports to help manages remove poor performing employees, but it incorporates none of the multitude of remedies offered by experts," the letter says. "It is a blatant return to patronage politics and a federal workforce based on cronyism and nepotism."

Maloney and Connolly, joined by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-Md.), introduced legislation earlier this week to block the executive order.

About the Author

Natalie Alms is a staff writer at FCW covering the federal workforce. She is a recent graduate of Wake Forest University and has written for the Salisbury (N.C.) Post. Connect with Natalie on Twitter at @AlmsNatalie.


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