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Pingree Votes to Protect Civil Service from Trump Sabotage

The bipartisan Preventing a Patronage System Act would prevent a future president from reviving the Trump era plan to politicize the federal bureaucracy

 Congresswoman Chellie Pingree (D-Maine) today voted alongside her Democratic and Republican colleagues in the House to pass the bipartisan Preventing a Patronage System Act, introduced by Reps. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.) and Brian Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.), which would secure the civil service and protect federal employees from losing statutory job protections and due process rights. 

“In the 11th hour of his presidency and just 13 days before the 2020 General Election, former President Trump gave himself the power to insert his unqualified political cronies into thousands of federal jobs, upending the merit system of the modern civil service,” said Pingree. “Although President Biden immediately rescinded this order, we must ensure no future president can revive Trump’s dangerous Schedule F without explicit congressional authority to do so. The House has now twice passed this critical bill. Now, the Senate must act to protect our federal workforce from the national security threat that is Schedule F.”

Specifically, the Preventing a Patronage System Act would prevent any position in the competitive service from being reclassified to an excepted service schedule created after September 30, 2020. The bill would also limit federal employee reclassifications to the five excepted service schedules in use prior to fiscal year 2021 and would block any reclassifications of federal employees to Schedule F pursuant to the executive order signed on October 21, 2020.


On October 21, 2020, President Trump signed Executive Order 13957 creating Schedule F in the excepted service. This executive order would undermine the merit system principles of our federal workforce by requiring agency heads to reclassify “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” positions to a newly created Schedule F category of federal employees that removes their due process rights and civil service protections. In addition, the executive order would make it easier for any Administration to hire political loyalists and fire qualified experts. According to press reports, the Office of Management and Budget planned to reclassify 88% of its workforce under Schedule F.

The federal workforce is comprised of roughly 2 million federal employees hired on the basis of their acumen, and they work each day for the American people — serving in myriad capacities to improve this nation and America’s posture abroad.  These impartial civil servants research vaccines, help families in the wake of hurricanes and deadly fires, and inspect our food to ensure they are free of disease.

In July, Pingree and the House passed the Preventing a Patronage System Act as an amendment to the National Defense Authorization Act of 2023.



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