Published: Thu, April 13, 2017
Life&Culture | By Ted Wilson

Trump ends federal jobs freeze as he overhauls government

Trump ends federal jobs freeze as he overhauls government

The federal hiring freeze put in place by President Donald Trump just as he entered office is being lifted.

Mulvaney said the President is looking to restructure the executive branch to run more like a private business and bring government agencies into the 21st century way of operating.

In the memorandum that Mulvaney is set to deliver today, agencies will be required to produce a plan that will "maximize employee performance", and must submit it to Mulvaney's office by June 30th.

Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday at a White House briefing that the move was part of the president's campaign pledge to "drain the swamp" in Washington and save taxpayers money.

As the Trump Admin FY 2018 Budget Blueprint shows, some agencies were appropriated more federal funds, while others received fewer - so some will correspondingly be granted an increase in hiring allowance while others will "end up paring their FTEs even greater than they would have had during the hiring freeze".

Independent regulators such as the FCC and the Federal Trade Commission fall under the executive branch, so some of their functions could be in play, though they are not subject to executive orders. Mulvaney explained that half of the Freedom Caucus wound up supporting the plan while some moderates wound up backing off of their support because they felt the Ryan plan was too conservative.

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And statutes and unions protect the hiring and firing of the federal work force, making the "you're fired" decisions Trump made famous on TV's "The Apprentice" less realistic across the bureaucracy. But Mulvaney also acknowledged that one of the hurdles likely would be getting the cooperation of Congress.

"This is really important to the President", Mulvaney said when asked why Trump will be able to do what past presidents have failed to accomplish. "That means it's going to be more efficient, more accountable, more effective, and providing the services that we need".

Not every department gets a cut under Trump's plan.

Mulvaney indicated that both the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs - both slated for sizable funding increases in preliminary budget plans - could see increased staffing under the reorganization plans.

It's unclear how many new hires were halted by the freeze, which over the two-and-half months it was in effect exempted bigger swaths of the government as lawmakers complained and agency heads became concerned about hurting their day-to-day operations without replacing departing staff.

The adjustments will then be included in the fiscal 2019 budget, which the administration will start putting together this September.

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