Chairwoman Maloney’s Opening Statement on Preventing a Patronage System Act at Full Committee Business Meeting
Washington, D.C. (May 25, 2021)—Below is Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney’s opening statement, as prepared for delivery, for today’s hybrid business meeting to consider bills that will promote accountability, help federal workers, and protect the independence of Inspectors General.
Chairwoman Carolyn B. Maloney
Committee on Oversight and Reform
Business Meeting – H.R. 302, the Preventing a Patronage System Act
May 25, 2021
I now recognize myself for 5 minutes.
The Preventing a Patronage System Act prohibits reclassification of federal employees in the competitive civil service to any excepted service schedule created after September 30, 2020.
On October 21st, 2020, President Trump signed an executive order creating a new excepted service schedule called Schedule F.
It directed federal agencies to identify civil service employees whose positions were, quote, “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” in nature. These employees would then be recommended for transition to Schedule F. Federal employees transferred to Schedule F would have been stripped of their civil service protections and rights, making it easier to terminate them.
Let’s be honest about what this executive order would have done—it would have replaced our current nonpartisan, expert career civil service with one that was loyal only to President Trump. Science, justice, and defending our nation would have become subservient to personal loyalty to the President.
Understandably, the creation of Schedule F was shocking to the more than 2 million federal employees who we all rely on every day for their experience, expertise, and dedication to public service.
Many Members of this Committee, including Chairman Connolly and I, strongly condemned the Trump executive order as an attack against merit system principles of the civil service and a return the Spoils System of the 1800s.
Fortunately, one of the first actions taken by President Biden when he came into office was to rescind that executive order. I commend President Biden for taking swift action before any positions were transferred into the new Schedule F.
This bill would prevent this from ever happening again. It would fortify the protections of civil service employees, ensuring that they can continue to do their important, non-partisan work.
I thank Chairman Connolly for introducing this important legislation, and I urge all my colleagues to support it.