Federal Union to Trump Administration: “Firing Federal Workers is Not How You Drain the Swamp


Friday, April 14, 2017

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                                       

April 14, 2017                                                                                  

Contact: Steve Lenkart (202) 216-4458 

Federal Union to Trump Administration: “Firing Federal Workers is Not How You Drain the Swamp

Washington, D.C. – Today, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE) admonished the statement of OMB Director Mick Mulvaney, who stated Tuesday that the so-called restructuring of the Executive Branch is “how you drain the swamp” in Washington.  Mulvaney’s comments came in advance of a memo released to agencies Wednesday that orders a reduction in the federal workforce while urging the elimination of programs and agencies that run contrary to the “promises that the president made during the campaign.”

“If Mulvaney truly wants to ‘drain the swamp,’ there is plenty he can do,” stated Randy Erwin, National President of NFFE.  “For example, he can stop the revolving door of people that go between industry and enforcement agencies, remove unqualified political appointees who came straight from the campaign trail, prevent unethical relationships between lobbyists and senior officials, and expose the growing influence of billionaire funded dark money that is corrupting the political process and threatening our Democracy. Firing federal employees is not how you ‘drain the swamp.’”  

Currently, the Executive Branch workforce is the size it was in 1966—when the U.S. population was 196 million people.  Today, the U.S. population has grown 62% to more than 318 million. The federal workforce has not only failed to keep up with population growth, but is facing attacks from all sides for further reductions. This harms both federal employees and the public at large. Worse still, the Mulvaney memorandum places intense pressure on agencies to decrease the workforce and programs without proposing details on how to accomplish the cuts.  Citing the Environmental Protection Agency as an example, Mulvaney said that agencies are expected to meet the proposed cuts but how they achieve it “is just sort of up to them.” 

“It is clear that there is no real plan other than to shrink the size of government at all costs instead of providing the proper resources and funding for success on behalf of all Americans, not just campaign donors,” Erwin said.  “The truth is that federal employees provide critical services to the American people. The federal government is also an important employer of veterans, women, minorities, and people with disabilities, and with 85% of federal employees spread across the country, its practices serve as a foundation for a healthy middle class nationwide.” 

“While there are always improvements to pursue in government regarding the workforce and its programs, pushing arbitrary cuts and ridiculous political ploys with no end game is a recipe for failure,” Erwin continued.  “This is not a meaningful way to govern and it is insulting to the hardworking people of the United States.”