Government to Lift Federal Hiring Freeze

J. Scott Applewhite/AP Photo

The temporary, across-the-board federal hiring freeze that President Donald Trump ordered in one of his first executive actions as chief executive will end Wednesday and be replaced with a more narrow halt on new government employment.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, described the new stay on hiring as a more “surgical” freeze than the first.

“This is a big part of draining the swamp,” said Mulvaney. “Really what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C., and that is how you drain the swamp, so this is a centerpiece of his campaign and a centerpiece of his administration.”

Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday that the new administration guidance — which he called the “Smart Hiring Plan” — will go into effect at federal agencies Wednesday and will result in some agencies having the added flexibility to hire while others may need to trim back further, depending on where the particular agency falls in the president’s budget priorities.

While a department like the Environmental Protection Agency will likely need to look at reducing the size of its workforce to comply with the president’s budget priorities, Mulvaney said, the Departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs could potentially hire more workers. He also said that there is potential for specific programs to move out of the purview of one agency to another.

Though the OMB director said that the government workforce is set to shrink, he did not divulge the specific number of jobs that could be on the chopping block. It will be up to the respective affected agencies to offer up plans for how they will plan to comply with the new guidance.

“We think we could run the government more efficiently than the previous administration,” said Mulvaney. “And we think we can run the administration with fewer people than the previous administration.”

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SOURCE: ABC News, Jordyn Phelps