January 23, 2017–President Trump today issued a memorandum imposing an executive branch hiring freeze in a move the White House said will “counter the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years and the costs attendant to that expansion.” The administration cited figures showing an increase in the federal civilian workforce to about 2.1 million people in 2016, up from 1.8 million during the Clinton administration.
“Meanwhile, federal employee health and retirement benefits continue to be based on antiquated assumptions and require a level of generosity long since abandoned by most of the private sector,” the White House said. “Those costs are unsustainable for the Federal government, just as they are proving to be unsustainable for state and local governments with similar health and retirement packages.”
The FCC, among other agencies, is not an executive branch agency and is not covered by today’s action. The military is also not covered by it, the White House said.
House Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer (D., Md.), blasted the hiring freeze, saying in a statement, “If President Trump had any experience with leadership in public service, he would know that our federal government cannot serve the American people without its talented, driven federal employees. His executive order today imposing a hiring freeze will do nothing to streamline government operations or reap significant budget savings. On the contrary; it will hinder the functioning and efficiency of our government by forcing fewer workers to serve more and more Americans and deterring our best and brightest young people from entering the federal workforce.”
“With respect to the hiring freeze, it is alarming that this likely means fewer trade enforcers at a time when there is an acute need for more resources to enforce the trade laws that protect American workers from unfair trade,” said Sen. Ron Wyden (D., Ore.), in a statement. – John Curran, email@example.com