Share your ideas for “Reorganizing the Executive Branch” via White House website
Shortly after his inauguration, President Donald Trump signed a series of executive orders, including one that led to a complete halt in the hiring of federal workers with few exceptions.
There has been a slight melting in that freeze, as a more tailored approach is implemented.
Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, described the new stay on hiring as a more “surgical” freeze than the first.
“This is a big part of draining the swamp,” he said. “Really what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C., and that is how you drain the swamp, so this is a centerpiece of his campaign and a centerpiece of his administration.”
Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday that the new administration guidance — which he called the Smart Hiring Plan — will go into effect at federal agencies Wednesday and will result in some agencies having the flexibility to hire while others may need to trim further, depending on where the particular agency falls in Trump’s budget priorities.
Some agencies, such as the Department of Defense and Veterans Affairs, will have broader hiring options. However, others will still be left out in the cold.
The Trump administration’s hiring freeze meant more than 350 positions at the Environmental Protection Agency were left unfilled, newly released agency documents show, including more than 100 scientists in specialties like environmental science, life science, and physical science.
The documents released through a Freedom of Information Act request by the Sierra Club and reviewed by CNN also show the hiring freeze affected an additional 140 people internally chosen for jobs or, in some cases, offered jobs but could not be finalized before the freeze went into place.
The scientific positions left unfilled were particularly troubling for Sierra Club Global Climate Policy Director John Coequyt.
“That’s about one-third of the total number of positions hiring was frozen for, so we are seeing high skilled people being held up from working at the agency,” Coequyt said.
The White House now has a new website, Reorganizing the Executive Branch, giving Americans a chance to chime in about how to restructure the government.
Mulvaney explains the concept: