Biden admin makes rule to protect federal workers from being fired by new president

For all the confident swagger about President Joe Biden’s ability to run the country for another four years, his administration’s latest action speaks of another reality.

The Office of Personnel Management seems to be anticipating a negative outcome in November and issued a new rule that essentially protects federal workers from mass firings by an incoming president, namely former President Donald Trump who famously declared he would “drain the swamp.”

“The Biden administration put the finishing touches Thursday on a plan to restrict presidents from unilaterally nixing civil service protections from large swaths of the federal workforce, as former President Donald Trump renews his vow to uproot a perceived ‘deep state’ if he is returned to the White House,” Politico reported.

“While a future president could take steps to squelch the new directive, it reflects a larger effort by the Biden administration to put a protective wall around its, policies,” the report continued.

In a statement, Biden announced “protections for 2.2 million career civil servants from political interference, to guarantee that they can carry out their responsibilities in the best interest of the American people.”

“Day in and day out, career civil servants provide the expertise and continuity necessary for our democracy to function,” the statement said. “They provide Americans with life-saving and life-changing services and put opportunity within reach for millions. That’s why since taking office, I have worked to strengthen, empower, and rebuild our career workforce.”

The rule is “a step toward combatting corruption and partisan interference to ensure civil servants are able to focus on the most important task at hand: delivering for the American people.”

“This final rule honors our 2.2 million career civil servants, helping ensure that people are hired and fired based on merit and that they can carry out their duties based on their expertise and not political loyalty,” the director of the Office of Personnel Management, Kiran Ahuja, said in a press release.

“The change is widely viewed as a pointed response to a fall 2020 executive order from Trump that created a new designation — known as Schedule F — for employees in policymaking roles that effectively made those workers easier to hire, fire or otherwise shuffle around,” Politico noted.

“This rule is about making sure the American public can continue to count on federal workers to apply their skills and expertise in carrying out their jobs, no matter their personal political beliefs,” OPM Deputy Director Rob Shriver said, speaking to reporters.

But Rep. James Comer, R-Ky. blasted the new rule as it undermines accountability in the federal workforce.

“OPM’s final rule is yet another example of the Biden Administration’s efforts to insulate the federal workforce from accountability,” the chair of the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability said in a statement.

“The federal workforce exists to serve the American people, yet many Americans have a deep and growing distrust of the federal bureaucracy. The Biden Administration’s rule will further undermine Americans’ confidence in their government since it allows poor performing federal workers and those who attempt to thwart the policies of a duly elected President to remain entrenched in the federal bureaucracy. We need more accountability for the unelected federal bureaucracy, not less,” Comer added.

Social media users reacted to the move that belies Biden’s confidence in his re-election.

Frieda Powers

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