The hiring freeze that once encompassed the White House has finally been released after many critics said it hindered the government from achieving needed movements.
The freeze ended as federal departments and agencies have been ordered to hand in restructuring plans to the Office of Management and Budget by the fall. “It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly,” says Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney.
“What we’re doing tomorrow is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze that was put in place on day one and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan.”
The freeze came on Trump’s first day in office and was one of his first promises fulfilled. His campaign promised several times that he would “drain the swamp” in the government and that he did by freezing hiring.
However, the freeze also had some adverse effects. According to The Hill, “the freeze resulted in an increased backlog of benefits claims at the Veterans Affairs (VA) Department, which Trump pledged to strengthen during the campaign.”
The freeze also delayed Social Security checks processing, staff shortages at federal prisons, and the closure of childcare facilities at military bases. But the vacancies in the federal government aren’t guaranteed to be filled even with the travel ban lifted. The VA and DOD could hire more workers since their funding will go up, but others with budget cuts are less likely to hire.
The release of the freeze puts Trump’s promise of emptying the swamp at jeopardy, but the budget director denied the act violated Trump’s promises of cutting the government. The memorandum mandates all agencies to “begin taking immediate actions” to shrink their workforces over a lengthy period. The reduction in the workforce will eventually create the savings Trump called for in his 2018 budget.
Mulvaney believes these cuts will come from duplicative offices and agencies, but the changes will probably get in Trump’s 2019 budget. Mulvaney ends by saying:
“This is a big part of draining the swamp. Really, what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C. That is how you drain the swamp.”
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Credit: The Hill