Maloney and Connolly Urgently Request OMB Halt Any Further Efforts to Proceed with Schedule F Conversions
Washington, D.C. (Jan. 15, 2021)—Today, Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney, the Chairwoman of the Committee on Oversight and Reform, and Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, the Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, sent a letter to Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Director Russel T. Vought and Acting Deputy Director for Management Michael J. Rigas, urgently requesting that they not proceed with further plans to implement President Trump’s October 21, 2020, executive order, which would undermine merit system principles of the civil service and promote political loyalty over expertise.
“We write to urge you not to proceed any further,” the Chairs wrote. “In the waning days of this Administration, it is highly inappropriate to implement this order, and we call upon you to act responsibly and halt further efforts to reclassify the positions of career civil servants at OMB to Schedule F.”
Out of great concern for the corrosiveness of this executive order, a coalition of Members of Congress asked the Government Accountability Office to provide regular briefings on the Administration’s attempts to implement it.
Today, GAO informed Committee staff that the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) approved most of OMB’s list of positions to reclassify almost 400 positions to Schedule F, which would remove federal employee due process rights and allow employees to be hired and fired based practically on political allegiance. According to media reports, OMB’s reclassification list included 425 positions, or 88% of the agency’s staff.
“This Committee has made clear our grave concerns over the implementation of this executive order,” the Chairs concluded. “Yet, our appeals to reason and sound judgment have fallen on deaf ears. It is time for you to act like leaders and let your staff know they are valued. Cease implementation of this slapdash, callous executive order and avoid the bureaucratic and litigious nightmare it will surely cause.”
This letter reinforces two bills that the Chairs introduced this week: The Preventing a Patronage System Act (H.R. 304) and the Saving the Civil Service Act (introduced today). Both bills would prevent the implementation of President Trump’s executive order.
Click here to read today’s letter to OMB.