Republicans and Democrats Call on President to Rescind Executive Orders

Courtroom gavel

A large bipartisan group of House members have asked President Trump to rescind his three most recent executive orders on the civil service because they would imperil the labor-management relationship in the federal workplace, usher in a new era of favoritism and patronage in government, and create costs for agencies.

Two letters, one from 21 House Republicans and another from House Democratic leaders, make a powerful statement about the harm that these orders bring to federal employees, their representatives and the taxpayers.

“The goal of your Executive Orders appears to be to completely eradicate unions from the federal workplace,” the Democrats wrote. “This approach contradicts decades of federal law based on hard lessons learned after a history of abuses, and moving ahead in this way would have severe, negative consequences for the American people and the effective and efficient functioning of our government.”

NTEU has sued to block the orders, arguing certain provisions restricting basic rights of federal employees are in violation of the Civil Service Reform Act.

“These elected officials recognize the danger these executive orders pose to workers, their agencies and the public that relies on federal employees being able to do their jobs constructively and efficiently,” NTEU National President Tony Reardon said. “We are proud to have these lawmakers working with us as we try to overturn the orders so that the men and women of the civil service can continue to serve the taxpayers without fear of retaliation or harassment.”

In their letter, Republicans urge the president to instead uphold existing laws that protect federal employees from discrimination, unfair treatment and sexual harassment.

“Federal workers have taken an oath of service to our great nation, and we take very seriously their duty to provide the American public with quality services,” according to the Republican letter. “That is why we believe that now, more than ever, it is important to uphold and strengthen the working relationships between federal workers and agency leadership.”

NTEU is supporting legislation to restore labor-management councils in the federal workplace after they were dismantled by a 2017 executive order. The legislation is S. 2340 sponsored by Sens. Brian Schatz, D-Hawaii; Sherrod Brown, D-Ohio; Elizabeth Warren, D-Mass; and Ben Cardin, D-Md. In the House, the bipartisan measure, H.R. 4878, was introduced by Reps. Elijah Cummings, D-Md. and Don Young, R-Alaska.