NTEU Endorses Legislation to Block Executive Order Politicizing Civil Service

Press Release October 27, 2020

Washington D.C. – President Trump’s brazen attempt to undo 137 years of federal law shielding professional federal employees from partisan influence would be blocked by legislation introduced today and endorsed by the National Treasury Employees Union. 

The Saving the Civil Service Act would rescind the president’s executive order removing civil service protections from an entire class of employees and prevent the use of government funding to implement it. 

The bill was introduced by House Majority Leader Steny Hoyer (D-MD); House Committee on Oversight and Reform Chairwoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY); and Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), Chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Subcommittee on Government Operations. 

“We commend Congress for quickly recognizing this executive order for the threat that it presents to the professional, merit-based civil service,” said NTEU National President Tony Reardon. “We strongly support the Saving the Civil Service Act because it will safeguard the principle that federal employees swear an oath to the Constitution and work for the taxpayers, not the president.” 

NTEU on Monday night also filed a lawsuit challenging the executive order as an unlawful attempt to politicize the civil service. 

Congress in 1883 expressly rejected the corruption of the spoils system and set the United States on the path toward a federal workforce that is independent and nonpartisan, where employees are chosen based on merit and serve presidents of any political party. The United States federal government is a global model of how a non-partisan civil service should work.

“With the stroke of a pen, President Trump is attempting to circumvent Congress and rewrite the law in a way that removes basic due process protections for an unknown number of committed civil servants and subject them to a litmus test of political loyalty,” Reardon said. “All Americans should be alarmed at this attack on our democracy.” 

NTEU represents about 150,000 employees at 33 federal agencies and departments.