Following Trump’s lead, GOP pushes bill to make federal workers fireable ‘at will’

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Following Trump’s lead, GOP pushes bill to make federal workers fireable ‘at will’
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Following Trump’s lead, GOP pushes bill to make federal workers fireable ‘at will’
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U.S. Rep. Chip Roy’s introduction Friday of a bill to make federal bureaucratic personnel at-will employees further stoked fears that marginalized workers will suffer discriminatory firings under a future Republican administration or even GOP-controlled Congress.

The Public Service Reform Act “will empower federal agencies to swiftly address misconduct and remove underperforming or ill-willed employees, creating a federal workforce focused on service to the American people,” Roy (R-Texas) said in a statement.

The bill “would make all federal bureaucrats at-will employees—just like private sector workers—and claw back the inordinate protections some federal employees grossly abuse,” he added.

The proposed legislation comes a week after reports that aides to former President Donald Trump are working to revive a plan to reclassify federal civil service personnel who worked under both Democratic and Republican administrations as at-will workers subject to easier termination.

Don Kettl, professor emeritus and former dean of the University of Maryland School of Public Policy, told Government Executive that “this is obviously a huge and major change, an effort to gear up a major assault on the federal employment system” that “is being helped and aided unquestionably by a set of groups like America First Works, Heritage Action for America, FreedomWorks, and Citizens for Renewing America, who have endorsed the bill.”

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