The US House of Representatives passed a bill Thursday that would prevent future presidents from imposing an initiative by former President Donald Trump, thus preserving and strengthening the “bureaucracy,” according to a Republican lawmaker.
Introduced by Representative Gerry Connolly, D-Va., The Preventing a Patronage System Act would eliminate a Schedule F employee category that Trump created in an October 2020 executive order.
Although President Joe Biden rejected that category when he was elected, Trump would have indicated that he would have restored it if he was elected president. But Thursday’s legislation would require the former president, or any other future president, to obtain consent from Congress before moving federal government positions in competitive service outside of the merit system principles.
Democrats say the reintroduction of Schedule F would cause federal employees to lose protections, “including due process rights, which prevent them from being easily fired when a new administration takes office.”
Six Republicans supported the bill, which passed the House with a 225-204 vote. The bill’s description broadly promises to “impose limits on the exception of competitive service positions from competitive service.”
Rep Chip Roy, R-Texas, slammed the passage of the bill in the House on Thursday.
“My colleagues across the aisle want to preserve and strengthen the bureaucracy to override the will of the people so this city can decide the welfare of the American people,” Roy said. “Here’s what it is. It’s about power. It’s about the entrenchment of power among the bureaucrats. My colleagues know this and that is why they are trying to push this legislation forward. ”
“We are 100% clear,” added the Texas congressman. “These are leftists in this body who want to protect the left rooted in the bureaucracy that undermines the will of the American people every single day. Here’s what it is. We don’t want to allow the people who run the agencies to come in and fire people who are either not doing their jobs, completely violating their desk ethic, or frankly, they’re going against the law or the will of the Americans. ”
Democrats have framed the effort as an attempt to prevent unsuitable employees from rising to positions they don’t deserve. In a statement Thursday after the vote, Connolly said that “experience, not fidelity, must define our civil service.”
“The civil servants that make up our federal workforce are the engine that keeps our federal government running,” said the Virginia Democrat, who first introduced the legislation with Representative Brian Fitzpatrick, R-Pa., In January 2021 after Trump created Schedule F.
“The former president’s attempt to remove qualified experts and replace them with political loyalists has threatened our national security and the ability of our government to function in the way the American people expect,” he added.
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