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Over 70 Obama Appointees are ‘Burrowed’ in Government Jobs

Over 70 Obama Appointees are ‘Burrowed’ in Government Jobs

“appointed to career-level jobs to protect them from being ousted”

Have you suspected there are still people embedded in the government who worked for Obama and might not share President Trump’s vision for America? You were right. In fact, there are quite a few of them.

FOX News reports:

Deep state? 78 Obama appointees ‘burrowed’ in gov’t, report says

By the time Barack Obama’s presidency ended in January 2017, 78 of his political appointees had “burrowed” into government jobs over the course of six years, a report says.

The report from the Government Accountability Office was obtained by the Washington Times.

“Burrowing” refers to a process in which political appointees are appointed to career-level jobs to protect them from being ousted once a new administration takes over.

Of the 78 such appointees identified in the GAO report, seven had switched to career jobs without first receiving necessary approval from the Office of Personnel Management, the report says. Four were later denied the positions and three later resigned.

The department with the highest number of conversions was the Department of Homeland Security, with nine appointees burrowing in. The Department of Justice was second with eight conversions.

The article says this is not uncommon and that some Bush people burrowed in after his presidency, but Obama certainly never had multiple leaks springing in the early days of his presidency.

This is the problem:

“Not only is ‘burrowing in’ unfair to applicants without an inside connection, it further contributes to the possibility that federal workers may attempt to undermine the policies of the new president,” Sens. Thom Tillis, R-N.C., and Ron Johnson, R-Wis., wrote to Obama, McClatchyDC reported.

Dave Boyer of the Washington Times has more details:

The Department of Homeland Security had the highest number of conversions, (nine), followed by the Department of Justice (eight).

Defense had six. Treasury had five. Agriculture, Commerce, Health and Human Services and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. each had four.

Three of the unapproved cases involved people in posts at the Education Department (a program specialist), at the Department of Health and Human Services (a senior adviser) and at the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. (a legislative adviser), according to a source briefed in advance on GAO’s review. In all three cases, agencies submitted materials on the conversion cases to OPM for post-appointment reviews.

This is undoubtedly having an effect on Trump’s ability to implement his agenda. It would be foolish to think otherwise. Brian Rogers writes at the Washington Examiner:

Obama holdovers are slowing Trump’s agenda in key agencies

When the sun set on President Barack Obama’s eight years in office this winter, conservatives hoped his administration’s legacy of crony capitalism and big government would end as President Trump began “draining the swamp.” But nearly eight months into the new administration, Obama holdovers continue to exert control over key federal agencies, to the detriment of the free enterprise system.

The most egregious examples are the Federal Trade Commission and the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau, both still stuck today with Obama appointees pursuing liberal policy objectives and undermining the new president’s agenda through the federal government’s administrative state.

For example, three days before Obama left office, his appointed FTC Chairwoman Edith Ramirez filed a last-minute lawsuit against the technology giant Qualcomm over their licensing practices, accusing the company of maintaining a monopoly over its chips used in smartphones.

The swamp doesn’t want to be drained. There are too many people living in it who enjoy the power and perks that come with membership. Trump has his work cut out for him.

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Comments

Does all of this burrowing involve public-sector unions, or is there much more to it than that (OPM policies, for example)?

The solution seems obvious to me so I must be missing something: Time to start eliminating agencies and cutting the budgets of the rest. It is easier to drain a smaller swamp than a larger one. Maybe we should give Republicans control of the House, Senate, and the WH so this can happen. Oh, wait…

    There you have it: we have to continue to “Moore” the GOPe until it’s gone.

    Matt_SE in reply to TX-rifraph. | October 1, 2017 at 10:23 am

    You’ve put your finger on it.
    There is no way to win against the Deep State or swamp (or whatever you want to call it) while playing by their rules.

    — They outnumber you.
    — They have more people whose jobs depend on corruption, so they’re more motivated than you.
    — They already have the power of the state on their side.
    — They are an eternal bureaucracy. They can out-wait you.
    — Even with all these structural advantages, they’ll cheat if they feel like it (see: intelligence “leaks”).

    The only winning move is to remove their power. Too bad for us that Trump isn’t a downsizer, or even remotely flirting with it. He never promised to eliminate agencies, and I don’t expect him to do so.

Humphrey's Executor | September 30, 2017 at 11:36 am

I propose a constitutional amendment: That the seat of the federal government must re-locate to a new state every 10 years, and at least 1000 miles from its current location.

    This doesn’t go far enough. I propose that the seat of the federal government be located in the middle of nowhere, on Alaska’s North Slope. Place the nearest airport at least 200 miles away and prohibit any air traffic any closer than that to the capital. Limit access to two four lane roads. Require Congress to meet there from October 1 through March 31, only. A further requirement would be for the heads of all federal agencies to be present in the capital for most of the year.

    Building DC in a swamp, back before we had air conditioning and other modern amenities, was a brilliant idea. But, evolving technology has defeated the purpose that choosing the current site of Washington DC, in 1791, provided.

    Simpler still, we relocate agencies to places in fly-over country, so they can co-mingle with the people. Give them ultra-plain and simple offices, say in strip malls, next the Dollar Store, or Subway. As for Washington D. C., in light of problems with global warming, we need to stop wasting electricity on air-conditioning. Heck, stop buying government cars with air-conditioning. They can roll down the windows.

The New York City Schools, and other bastions of unionized teaching, have already supplied us with a solution. The “rubber room” will work. Have these chosen people go to an office which lacks a window, a phone, and internet connections. Heck, make them so their cell phones won’t work, while you’re at it. Then have them read government regulations, on paper, with a blue pen. They are to identify regulations which are outdated and need to be removed. They can stay and draw a salary, or get bored and move on. Move On! Sounds good. If they feel like protesting, they can kneel at their desks, instead of sitting on a chair.

    DaveGinOly in reply to Milwaukee. | September 30, 2017 at 6:52 pm

    Making their work condition intolerable is one approach. It may also be possible to reassign them to other jobs (the rules would probably require them to continue to received the same salaries) in which they have less authority or are incapable to doing mischief. Maybe even “promote” some to positions away from D.C., to place where their authority might be limited geographically, preventing them from plugging up the works at the national level.

      NOLA69 in reply to DaveGinOly. | October 1, 2017 at 4:28 pm

      A good idea. Since these last-days career bureaucrats are identified, simply move them into token positions that cannot derail the Trump agenda. It will cost salaries, but I would write that off as a “cost of doing business”.

“Burrowing” by political appointees is an in-your-face violation of the republican guarantee clause. As Hamilton and Madison explained, the first principle of republicanism is that “the people choose who shall represent them.” In common parlance, we can always “throw the bums out.”

The civil service laws in general violate this guarantee. Only a tiny number of the government that wields power over us are political appointees, thus the civil service laws unconstitutionally deny the people the means to throw out the vast majority of the government bums who supposedly represent us.

Burrowing does not even let the people throw out the political appointees of those administrations whose representation we have renounced. Such are the wages of the Court’s egregious duesetude of the guarantee clause, one if the worst of its many egregious mistakes.

So this is shocking???? Jimmy Carter buried Madeline Albright, Robert Reich and assorted other lefties in the government when he left office.

Maybe we need term limits for the bureaucracy. Ten years, go find a job in the private sector.

    How about we stop worrying about “paying for tax cuts” and simply get rid of entire expensive, wasteful, redundant, and useless executive branch agencies so that we can come closer to living within our means?

    Government needs to live within our means, not force us into poverty to pay for their wastefulness.

Trump will be able to do nothing about the swamp until the GOPe Congress is replaced. I don’t expect them to surrender easily, either, so we’re looking at 4 to 6 years of purging our own party BEFORE WE CAN EVEN START the reform process in D.C.

2018 will be a “bloodbath” for the GOPe, but not so much that they’re rendered ineffective. They will stroke our egos about how badly we’ve “beaten” them, and quietly continue subverting the reform agenda.

The hope is that we’ll forget about their treachery by 2020, when Trump will need their support for re-election and so will cozy up to them. 2020 is the year when we get rid of McConnell.

    Ragspierre in reply to Matt_SE. | October 1, 2017 at 10:25 am

    It will be interesting…and telling…to see who T-rump endorses and campaigns for in 2018.

    If he follows his pattern, a lot of them will be “swampy”.

    But, as I always say, “We’ll see…”

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