March 23, 2017

Kaine, Warner Call On President Trump To Reconsider Federal Hiring Freeze

WASHINGTON, D.C. – In response to a January memorandum from President Donald J. Trump, Senators Kaine and Warner, along with 16 of their colleagues, called on President Trump to reconsider his decision of halting all hiring in key government agencies. The memo, which placed a wide-ranging hiring freeze on the civil federal workforce, is currently impacting dozens of federal agencies and their ability to serve the American people.  The budget blueprint released by the administration last week also proposes cuts that will, if enacted, extend and exacerbate these impacts. Virginia is home to more than 170,000 federal employees.

“The Trump Administration’s continued attacks on federal employees, including 170,000 in Virginia, discredits the hard work of our public servants and leaves them without the necessary resources to do their jobs,” Kaine and Warner said. “This hiring freeze exacerbates labor shortages across our government, delays care for our veterans at VA facilities, and risks the economic stability of Virginians trying to file for Social Security benefits or secure paperwork for their small businesses – among other vital functions. This delay in hiring and the proposed drastic cuts to the federal workforce could have a detrimental impact on the function of our government for years to come.”

The freeze is currently having severe impacts across the country including inability to hire civilian workers on military bases; and a disproportionate impact on veterans, who receive preference in hiring for federal positions. Other federal agencies adversely impacted include the Patent and Trademark Office, the Social Security Administration, the Food and Drug Administration, the National Institute of Standards and Technology and the federal prison system.

Previous hiring freezes had significant costs and were ineffective in changing the size of the federal workforce.  Hiring freezes also hurt employee morale and damage efforts to recruit new talent, keeping the next generation of employees with diverse backgrounds and expertise out of the civil service.

The letter was also signed by Senators Coons (D-DE), Baldwin (D-WI), Merkley (D-OR), Warren (D-MA), Durbin (D-IL), Gillibrand (D-NY), Blumenthal (D-CT), Cardin (D-MD), Brown (D-OH), Van Hollen (D-MD), Feinstein (D-CA), Carper (D-DE), Franken (D-MN), Hirono (D-HI), Wyden (D-OR) and Shaheen (D-NH). 

The Senators’ letter can be found online HERE.

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