Trump Takes a Parting Swipe at the Executive Branch

Stripping OMB staffers of civil-service protection will make it harder for the president to do his job.

December 10, 2020

Susan E. Dudley & Sally Katzen

Read this Op-Ed (Wall Street Journal)


We served as presidential appointees in the Office of Management and Budget under Republican and Democratic administrations, and we disagree on plenty. But we are in complete accord that OMB’s career professionals are essential for effective government. They bring deep knowledge—built up over years, sometimes decades—of how government works, which approaches to policy have succeeded or failed, and why.

That’s why we are alarmed by reports that OMB Director Russell Vought has, in the waning days of the administration, reclassified 88% of the OMB’s career staff into a new Schedule F category that means they can be hired and fired at will on political grounds. The move was a hasty effort to implement an executive order from President Trump that overturned more than a century of civil service law to exert greater political control over government employees in “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions.”

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Screenshot of Wall Street Journal op-ed: Trump Takes a Parting Swipe at the Executive Branch.