According to a respected government watchdog group, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) purposely disobeyed former President Donald Trump’s executive order that aimed to radically restructure the federal workforce because EPA employees would have potentially been upset by the moves.
Just before leaving office, former President Trump issued an executive order creating a new government employment classification called Schedule F. Federal Employees categorized as Schedule F would have been much simpler to dismiss and reprimand in contrast to the current status of many federal employees which essentially makes it impossible to fire them.
The system was designed to make the federal workforce more responsive to elected leaders, and it reflects Republican worries that too many federal employees were rejecting Trump’s policy prescriptions without consequence.
The US Government Accountability Office issued a report on the implementation of Schedule F this week that confirmed the GOP’s objections.
According to the report, just 15 federal agencies attempted to actually follow Trump’s directive before Biden reversed it during his first week in office, and the EPA purposely chose not to implement it in order to protect its personnel. A direct violation of the chain of command.
Under Trump’s directive, federal agencies were directed to identify federal employees who may be classified under Schedule F and then petition the White House to modify their classification.
The directive was anticipated to categorize up to 50,000 government employees as Schedule F employees.
GAO discovered other evidence of the federal bureaucracy’s purposefully sluggish responsive to Trump’s proposal.
According to the report, four other government agencies never submitted a petition and were still deciding whether employees should be reclassified at the time the Biden administration blocked Trump’s decision.
Trump has subsequently stated that if he is re-elected in 2024, he would work harder to develop a new Schedule F for government employees.
In response, the Democratic-led House enacted legislation last month prohibiting the White House from unilaterally reorganizing the federal workforce, but GOP resistance will make passage in the Senate extremely difficult.