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WASHINGTON, D.C. October 23, 2020 – Representative Adam Smith (D-Wash.), Chairman of the House Armed Services Committee, today issued the following statement after the White House announced its intent to create a new class of civil service positions designed to eliminate merit-based hiring and permit “at will” termination of these positions:

“President Trump’s latest executive order is a brazen act to politicize the career civil service and a direct assault on civil service protections. Time and again, the Trump Administration has sought a path that values, and in turn exploits, loyalty over competence. For more than 150 years, the federal civil service program has cultivated a cadre of non-partisan policy experts to augment and provide continuity for the ever-transitioning politically appointed workforce, who serves at the pleasure of the sitting president.

“The Schedule F designation would be applied to mid- to high-grade schedule (GS) positions identified as ‘confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating’ and could potentially impact hundreds of thousands of currently occupied positions. Under this arbitrary distinction, if deemed disloyal, employees could be easily fired for arbitrary infractions or without cause. “I look forward to working with my congressional colleagues to rebuff the Trump Administration’s actions against our federal workforce. Our federal government relies on these highly-capable career civil servants – their competence must not be undermined in the name of loyalty to Trump.”