Congressman Gerry Connolly (D-VA) and Congresswoman Carolyn Maloney (D-NY) recently sent a letter to the director of the Office of Management and Budget telling the agency to stop implementing the new Schedule F executive order for its employees.
OMB had begun implementing Schedule F for its employees, and the lawmakers noted in their letter that the Office of Personnel Management has approved most of OMB’s requests to reclassify almost 400 of its employees to Schedule F.
“In the waning days of this Administration, it is highly inappropriate to implement this order, and we call upon you to act responsibly and halt further efforts to reclassify the positions of career civil servants at OMB to Schedule F,” Maloney and Connolly wrote in their letter to Russel Vought.
The lawmakers said in their letter they are worried that the implementation of Schedule F could have the opposite of its intended effect. Stating that it would put “political cronies” into the civil service, thereby damaging its accountability, they wrote, “Loyalty to a President would replace loyalty to the Constitution and the American people.”
They also said that with the inauguration of president-elect Joe Biden and a new incoming administration, implementing “Schedule F will only lead to additional protracted legal battles and a bureaucratic waste of government resources to the detriment of the vital operations of the agency” since it is expected that litigation against the executive order will continue.
Connolly has also recently introduced legislation to block any reclassifications of federal employees to Schedule F.
Update: One of our readers shared an article in the comments below from the Washington Post since I wrote this which reported that OMB doesn’t realistically have time to move forward with implementing its planned changes to move some of the agency’s employees over to Schedule F.
“A senior administration official who is familiar with the executive order said the office is unlikely to move forward in the day and a half left in the administration,” according to the Washington Post.
If that is the case, and assuming that President Biden rescinds the executive order, that would largely put the situation to rest. It could become more complex if the executive order were to remain in place.
Update: A new report from The Hill says that an executive order rescinding Schedule F is expected this Friday, January 22.