Trump official resigns over executive order that makes it easier to fire federal workers

Trump official resigns over executive order that makes it easier to fire federal workers
President Donald J. Trump participates in a Sinclair Broadcast Group town hall event Tuesday, Oct. 20, 2020, in the Rose Garden of the White House. (Official White House Photo by Joyce N. Boghosian)

Ronald Sanders, chairman of the Federal Salary Council (FSC), resigned from his position within President Donald Trump's administration after the president's executive order issued last week.

On Monday, Sanders released a letter addressed to John McEntee. He cited his objection to the order which called for the removal of firing protections usually granted to certain federal employees.

The order titled, "Executive Order on Creating Schedule F," calls for changes to federal worker classification. Employees placed under the new classification would not be afforded "traditional federal protections governing hiring and firing processes," reports Newsweek.

Trump's order would give agency officials a 90-day deadline from the time the order is passed to determine which federal employees within their agency meet criteria for Schedule F. Specifically, career employees who hold "confidential policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions" would be targeted under this executive order. That deadline would fall on the eve of the presidential inauguration date in January 2021.

Sanders raised concerns about the executive order as he noted the dangerous precedent that it sets for Trump to build a federal staff with views that align exclusively to his. The former government official made it clear that it was against his "conscious" to continue working within a presidential administration "that seeks to...replace apolitical expertise with political obeisance."

According to Sanders, the executive order serves as a "smokescreen" in an effort to disguise Trump's real motive which is to expand his control over federal employees and hold them even more accountable.

"There is some irony in this," Sanders wrote. "On its surface, the president's Executive Order purports to serve a legitimate and laudable purpose...that is, to hold career Federal employees 'more accountable' for their performance. That is something that I have spent most of my professional life—almost four decades in Federal service (over 20 as a member of the Senior Executive Service)—trying to do."

Sanders continued, "However, it is clear that its stated purpose notwithstanding, the Executive Order is nothing more than a smokescreen for what is clearly an attempt to require the political loyalty of those who advise the President, or failing that, to enable their removal with little if any due process."

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