President Donald Trump signed an executive order Monday that imposed a hiring freeze on all government workers “except for the military,” as he himself pointed out to reporters.
The order specifically stated that “no vacant positions can be filled, or new positions created, unless an agency head deems the position ‘necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities,’” according to a copy of the order obtained by The Hill.
It was presumed that the order would also permit an exception for the thousands of appointees the president had yet to make to replace former President Barack Obama’s employees.
Met with applause by most on the right and jeers by most on the left, the signing of this executive order was in accordance with Trump’s “Contract with the American Voter,” a document released during the election pledging that he would impose “a hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition (exempting military, public safety, and public health).”
Included among the naysayers were union leaders like J. David Cox Sr., president of the American Federation of Government Employees.
“President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone and actually increase taxpayer costs by forcing agencies to hire more expensive contractors to do work that civilian government employees are already doing for far less,” he claimed in a statement.
Most Republicans disagreed with this ominous assessment.
“Given the $20 trillion debt and $500 billion deficit that President Obama left in place, it’s not unreasonable for the new chief executive to pause federal hiring while he evaluates the policies necessary to get our fiscal house in order,” Maryland state Rep. Andy Harris, a Republican, told The Baltimore Sun.
During the regular White House news briefing Monday, press secretary Sean Spicer noted that the primary purpose of the hiring freeze was to stop wasting the American people’s money.
“Some people are working two, three jobs just to get by, and to see money get wasted in Washington on a job that is duplicative is insulting to the hard work that they do to pay their taxes,” he said, according to The New York Times.
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