Priorities in Trump’s Acceptance Speech and the Federal Workforce

Comments in Donald Trump’s acceptance speech that would directly impact the federal workforce were few in number but give an indication of his priorities. Here is a quick summary.

What changes would occur for the federal workforce under a Trump administration?

In his acceptance speech last night, Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump provided some indication of priorities he would have as president that would impact federal workers. While many of the broader comments would certainly involve agencies of the federal government and federal policies, such as broad tax policy statements and the Internal Revenue Service, he referenced several specifics that would have an impact on federal agencies and federal employees. Here are some of the most relevant sections from his speech in this category.

“We are going to build a great border wall to stop illegal immigration, to stop the gangs and the violence, and to stop the drugs from pouring into our communities.

I have been honored to receive the endorsement of America’s Border Patrol agents, and will work directly with them to protect the integrity of our lawful, lawful, immigration system….”

By ending catch-and-release on the border, we will stop the cycle of human smuggling and violence. Illegal border crossings will go down. We will stop it. It will not be happening very much anymore.”

Border Patrol Council

That point of view would presumably work to the benefit of the National Border Patrol Council which has views similar to those of Trump. Here are comments in the endorsement by the Border Patrol Council:

“America has already tried a young, articulate freshman senator who never created a job as an attorney and under whose watch criminal cartels have been given the freest border reign ever known.

Unlike his opponents, Donald Trump is not a career politician, he is an outsider who has created thousands of jobs, pledged to bring about aggressive pro-American change, and who is completely independent of special interests. We don’t need a person who has the perfect Washington-approved tone, and certainly NOT another establishment politician in the W.H. Indeed, the fact that people are more upset about Mr. Trump’s tone than about the destruction wrought by open borders tells us everything we need to know about the corruption in Washington.

We need a person in the White House who doesn’t fear the media, who doesn’t embrace political correctness, who doesn’t need the money, who is familiar with success, who won’t bow to foreign dictators, who is pro-military and values law enforcement, and who is angry for America and NOT subservient to the interests of other nations. Donald Trump is such a man.”

The group said that if the borders are not secured, communities will “continue to suffer at the hands of gangs, cartels and violent criminals preying on the innocent.”

The union of Border Patrol agents has also praised Trump’s stance on immigration and said he could change the nation’s policies.

From these comments and those of the union representing Border Patrol Agents, President Trump would clearly make changes in the leadership and priorities of the Customs and Border Protection agency within the Department of Homeland Security.

Transportation Security Administration

The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) has heard considerable criticism in recent months in the press. While he was not specific, the Republican nominee did make a reference to the organization with this statement: “[W]e will fix TSA at the airports, which is a total disaster.”

He did not provide specifics as to how the organization would be fixed. Presumably, there would be a change in priorities for the agency as well as a change in senior leadership and how new employees are screened and hired. The actual changes for the agency are open for speculation although he has indicated he would replace some TSA workers with veterans.

Department of Defense

The Department of Defense would fare well under President Trump based on this comment. “We will completely rebuild our depleted military. And the countries that we protecting at a massive cost to us will be asked to pay their fair share.”

The Department of Veterans Affairs has already been singled out by Trump for criticism, and he has previously offered a plan to reform the agency. He returned to this in his speech last night:

We will take care of our great veterans like they have never been taken care of before. My just-released 10 point plan has received tremendous better support. We will guarantee those who serve this country will be able to visit the doctor or hospital of their choice without waiting five days in a line and dying.

My opponent dismissed the VA scandal, one more sign of how out of touch she really is.

Veterans Administration

Here are a couple of his earlier comments similar to his acceptance speech regarding the VA that indicate the problems at the agency. Trump has said these changes are necessary because of widespread problems at the VA, something he largely blamed on the current Administration.

  • 40 veterans died while waiting for care in Phoenix
  • A VA employee involved in an armed robbery was kept on staff
  • VA facilities around the country were found to be falsifying data regarding wait times.

One item he cited that would impact all federal agencies:

We are going to ask every department head and government to provide a list of wasteful spending projects that we can eliminate in my first 100 days. The politicians have talked about this for years, but I’m going to do it.

National elections can bring significant change to the federal government and the men and women who work there. No doubt, this will be an interesting time for the federal workforce.

About the Author

Ralph Smith has several decades of experience working with federal human resources issues. He has written extensively on a full range of human resources topics in books and newsletters and is a co-founder of two companies and several newsletters on federal human resources. Follow Ralph on Twitter: @RalphSmith47