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New Rule Will Thwart Trump’s Attempts at Political Purges in Civil Service

The Office of Personnel Management unveiled a regulation on Thursday aimed at fortifying job security for federal employees against efforts to politically reclassify their positions.

This move directly addresses concerns surrounding former President Donald Trump’s intentions to overhaul the federal workforce should he reclaim the presidency in November.

The regulation ensures that civil servants cannot be turned into political appointees or other types of at-will employment, which are more susceptible to termination.

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This response counters Trump’s 2020 executive order, known as “Schedule F,” which proposed the reclassification of a significant number of the 2.2 million federal employees, effectively diminishing their job protections.

Although President Biden revoked Schedule F upon taking office, the prospect of its resurgence under a second Trump term posed a real threat to the stability of the federal workforce.

Currently, this includes approximately 4,000 political appointees whose tenure typically coincides with the administration in power.

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The extent of Schedule F’s potential impact was further illuminated through documents obtained by the National Treasury Employees Union.

These documents showed that a wide array of federal roles, from office management to cybersecurity, could have been vulnerable to reclassification.

The newly introduced rule details the procedural hurdles for reclassifying federal employees.

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It reinforces the permanence of civil service protections and stipulates that the designation of positions as involved in policymaking must be limited to non-career, political appointments.

Doreen Greenwald, President of the National Treasury Employees Union, hailed the rule as a pivotal measure in preserving the integrity of a nonpartisan federal workforce, safeguarding it from politically motivated dismissals.

The rule has been met with applause from advocacy groups and liberal organizations, who view it as essential in combating efforts by conservative entities such as the Heritage Foundation.

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The Foundation has advocated for a comprehensive reformation of the federal workforce through its “Project 2025” initiative.

Democracy Forward’s President, Skye Perryman, emphasized the rule’s significance in ensuring governmental efficacy and democratic principles.

Set to be enacted next month following its publication in the federal registry, the rule underwent public commentary, drawing support from a majority of respondents despite opposition from conservative circles.

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Should Trump secure a second term, his administration could undertake the lengthy process of drafting new regulations through the Office of Personnel Management, a move likely to spark legal contests.

Rob Shriver, the agency’s deputy director, underscored the rule’s role in safeguarding the nonpolitical nature of federal employment, ensuring that federal workers across the nation remain focused on serving the public interest over political agendas.

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Monica Balmes is a talented copywriter with a passion for creating engaging and informative content.