In order to reduce the size and scope of the government, many conservatives have fought to reduce the federal work force.
But for the last eight years, their efforts have been blocked by Barack Obama.
That is all about to change when Donald Trump takes office.
Almost immediately after the election, President-elect Trump’s supporters and Congressional Republicans made it known they intended to enact sweeping reforms to reduce the size of the federal workforce as well as the cost taxpayers have bore to fund their benefits.
The Washington Post reports:
Hiring freezes, an end to automatic raises, a green light to fire poor performers, a ban on union business on the government’s dime and less generous pensions — these are the contours of the blueprint emerging under Republican control of Washington in January.
These changes were once unthinkable to federal employees, their unions and their supporters in Congress. But Trump’s election as an outsider promising to shake up a system he told voters is awash in “waste, fraud and abuse” has conservatives optimistic that they could do now what Republicans have been unable to do in the 133 years since the modern civil service was created.
“You have the country moving to the right and being much more anti-Washington than it was,” said former House speaker Newt Gingrich (R-Ga.), a leading Trump adviser who serves on the president-elect’s transition team.
“We’re going to have to get the country to understand how big the problem is, the human costs of it and why it’s absolutely essential to reform,” said Gingrich, who urged Trump to shrink big government and overhaul the “job-for-life” guarantee of federal work.
Gingrich predicted that Stephen K. Bannon, a former Breitbart News chief who helped steer
Trump’s campaign and is now one of his most influential advisers, would lead the effort. “It’s a big, big project,” he said.”
Now the effort has been joined by Congressional Republicans who will be tasked with crafting the legislation to make President-elect Trump’s reforms possible.
Roll Call reports:
“One major plan is being readied by Rep. Jason Chaffetz, the chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. The Utah Republican calls it “high on our agenda.” While details remain sketchy, it would likely mean big changes to the generous retirement benefits given federal workers, mainly by looking to shift new employees from a defined benefit into a market-based 401(k).
He is also interested in making it easier to fire workers who perform badly and wants to reduce the federal civilian workforce, which currently numbers 2.1 million employees, not including U.S. Postal Service employees.
“We’ve got to deal with budget realities, and while we have good federal workers, we have too many of them,” he told Roll Call.”
Roll Call also notes that in the House Republicans 2016 Budget Resolution, the GOP included a plan to reduce the federal workforce by ten percent through a formula whereby agencies could hire one employee for every three that retired.
This would have saved taxpayers $281 billion over 10 years.
Many conservatives are hoping President-elect Trump and the GOP Congress will make good on this proposal in 2017.