DemDaily: Federal Un-Freeze

April 12, 2017

In a "change" of policy, the Trump Administration announced yesterday that it will lift the federal hiring freeze implemented by the President just three days into his term.

In a briefing to reporters Tuesday, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney announced the freeze was being replaced with a "smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan" which better incorporates the budget cuts Trump intends to make.

Traditionally, all 4,000+ political staff, appointed by the previous administration, tenure their resignations the day before the inauguration of the incoming President.

Trump's original January 23rd directive has held up hiring of critical senior, policy and political staff for the last three months -- bringing to a halt the execution of Obama administration policies and, in many cases day-to-day operations within several federal agencies.

The only federal employees exempt from the freeze are military personnel, who make up more than one third of the federal workforce, and national security and public safety officials.

What It Means
Mulvaney cautioned that the "updated" policy does not give license to hire new staff but, for some federal agencies, means additional hiring cuts.

Staffing, as a part of the federal budget, will ultimately require approval by Congress - which sets actual spending levels for federal agencies.

Trump's budget proposal calls for widespread cuts to several agencies including the EPA, while adding to the coffers of others -- including Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE) and Customs and Border Protection.

Trump Administration Proposed Agency Budget Cuts

Source: Washington Post (March 16, 2017)

Trump's original budget proposal, released March 16th, was met with widespread criticism from both sides of the aisle, and has far to go before it will be ready for a vote before Congress.

The administration is asking agencies and members of the public to submit suggestions for rebuilding the executive branch "from scratch" in an attempt to restructure the government.

Congress will either need to pass a budget or a continuing resolution bill by April 28th, which is the last day the current continuing resolution funds the government. For an explanation on the budget legislative process, see DemDaily: Dead on Arrival.

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Kimberly Scott

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