Trump signed an executive order to fill the entire executive branch with his lackeys.
“There’s a reason authoritarians target the bureaucracy. Once they have it under their control, they are better able to stifle dissent and criticism, reward friends and punish enemies, using the levers of government to maintain power.” – Donald Moynihan
“The liberty of a democracy is not safe if the people tolerated the growth of private power to a point where it becomes stronger than the democratic state itself. That in its essence is fascism: ownership of government by an individual, by a group, or any controlling private power.”
― Franklin D. Roosevelt
ACTION #1: Call your representatives!
Minimal script to your representatives: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Rep. [___] to vote “YES on H.R. 302 – Preventing a Patronage System Act (PPSA) Act, even though I know that the House passed a version of this legislation in H.R.7900 – the National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2023. Trump’s executive order “Schedule F” and Chip Roy’s copycat bill are so dangerous to democracy, I want Rep. [___] to take every action possible to maintain a merit-based civil service system.
(Cosponsors: H.R.302 – Brownley and Carbajal NOT YET cosponsors)
ACTION #2: Call your senators!
Minimal script to your senators: I’m calling from [zip code] and I want Senator [___] to vote “YES on S.4702 – Preventing a Patronage System Act (PPSA) Act, even if a version is included in the Senate’s National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) of 2023. Trump’s executive order “Schedule F” and Chip Roy’s copycat bill are so dangerous to democracy, I want Rep. [___] to take every action possible to maintain a merit-based civil service system.
(Cosponsors: S.4702 – Feinstein and Padilla ARE cosponsors. (See “Feinstein, Kaine, Colleagues Introduce Bill to Protect Federal Worker Rights”)
- Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26): email, DC (202) 225-5811, Oxnard (805) 379-1779, T.O. (805) 379-1779
- or Rep. Salud Carbajal (CA-24): email. DC (202) 225-3601, SB (805) 730-1710 SLO (805) 546-8348
- Senator Feinstein: email, DC (202) 224-3841, LA (310) 914-7300, SF (415) 393-0707, SD (619) 231-9712, Fresno (559) 485-7430
- and Senator Padilla: email, DC (202) 224-3553, LA (310) 231-4494, SAC (916) 448-2787, Fresno (559) 497-5109, SF (415) 981-9369, SD (619) 239-3884
- Who is my representative/senator?: https://whoismyrepresentative.com
We have learned a lot about how to corrupt a government from Trump.
- We’ve learned that a president can simply behave unethically, like refusing to divest from businesses or disclose tax returns, with zero consequences.
- We’ve learned that a court system stocked with far-right extremists can strip long-held civil rights from our citizens.
- We’ve learned that cabinet members can be installed to deliberately destroy or dismantle their own agencies.
We’ve also learned that we were inches away from Trump implementing his executive order “Schedule F“, under which he could replace most of the merit-based non-partisan civil service employees in “confidential, policy-determining, policy-making or policy-advocating” jobs – those who currently swear an oath to the constitution – with a system where the main qualifications would be loyalty to him, just like in our original “patronage-spoils system” of the 1830’s, including bribes and kickbacks. Although Biden rescinded the order upon taking office, Trump-lickspittle Rep. Chip Roy, (R-TX) introduced H.R.8550 – Public Service Reform Act – to “re-form” our government into a system of corruption that would make Trump, and any other third-world dictator proud.
Trump just ran out time before he could spread the embarassing nepotism (Ivanka & Jared!), lying (Wilber Ross) waste (Scott Pruit, Tom Price), religious fanaticism (Betsy DeVos!), Hatch Act violations (Lynne Patton) and flunky incompetence (oh, Ben Carson) of his first administration throughout the government. But a former Trump official stated “It literally takes five minutes to reissue it. There was real value to issuing Schedule F because it turned it into a ‘flip the switch’ thing for the next administration that wants to do it.” Like if Trump is re-elected. Or budding authoritarian Ron De Santis.
(Axios) New presidents typically get to replace more than 4,000 so-called “political” appointees to oversee the running of their administrations. But below this rotating layer of political appointees sits a mass of government workers who enjoy strong employment protections — and typically continue their service from one administration to the next, regardless of the president’s party affiliation.
An initial estimate by the Trump official who came up with Schedule F found it could apply to as many as 50,000 federal workers — a fraction of a workforce of more than 2 million, but a segment with a profound role in shaping American life.
Trump, in theory, could fire tens of thousands of career government officials with no recourse for appeals. He could replace them with people he believes are more loyal to him and to his “America First” agenda.
Even if Trump did not deploy Schedule F to this extent, the very fact that such power exists could create a significant chilling effect on government employees.
It would effectively upend the modern civil service, triggering a shock wave across the bureaucracy. The next president might then move to gut those pro-Trump ranks — and face the question of whether to replace them with her or his own loyalists, or revert to a traditional bureaucracy…”
…Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-Va.), who chairs the subcommittee that oversees the federal civil service, is among a small group of lawmakers who never stopped worrying about Schedule F, even after Biden rescinded the order. Connolly has been so alarmed that he attached an amendment to this year’s defense bill to prevent a future president from resurrecting Schedule F. The House passed Connolly’s amendment but Republicans hope to block it in the Senate.
- (Salon) Donald Trump’s wrecking crew: A cabinet of zealots who yearn to destroy their own agencies – Previous GOP presidents have appointed anti-government hardliners, but Trump’s cabinet goes further than ever
- (Politico) Opinion | The Patronage System Was Corrupt. It’s Threatening a Comeback.
- (Govexec) House Panel Advances Bill Aimed at Preventing Future Schedule F Efforts
- (Govexec) If Trump Is Reelected, His Aides Are Planning to Purge the Civil Service
- (Govexec) Union Sues and Democrats Introduce Bill to Block Trump Order Politicizing Civil Service
- (Axios) A radical plan for Trump’s second term
- (TrumpWhiteHouse.archives.gov) Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service
- (the conversation) What is fascism?
- (historynewnetwork.org) We Asked 16 Historians If They Think Trump Is a Fascist. This Is What They Said.
- (aei.org) “A Temptation to Dishonesty”: Patronage and the Corruption of the Party System, 1823-83
- (NARFE) Senators Introduce Bill to Protect Merit-Based Civil Service
- (NARFE) NARFE Opposes New ‘Public Service Reform Act,’ Which Would Eradicate Merit-Based Civil Service
Quote in header: https://www.govexec.com/workforce/2022/03/trump-threatening-return-and-expansion-schedule-f/363145/