Trump Ends Federal Hiring Freeze

J. Scott Applewhite/AP

The Trump White House lifted the restriction on hiring federal workers. In exchange, federal agencies must submit plans to cut waste, fraud, and abuse from their budgets.

The administration’s push to reorganize the federal government and cut wasteful practices serves as a centerpiece of Trump’s pledge to “drain the swamp.”

“The government reorg is probably the biggest story nobody is talking about,” Mick Mulvaney told reporters on Tuesday. “We’re trying to do something that’s never been done.”

In January, President Trump issued an executive order freezing all federal hiring and told budget director Mulvaney to recommend a long-term plan to reduce the federal workforce after the 90-day hiring freeze.

Mulvaney said that the federal hiring freeze would lift on Wednesday. Agencies can hire, but they must submit plans to make their offices more efficient.

Agencies will send their drafts in June, with final drafts submitted in September. Mulvaney said, “You can’t just wave a magic wand in the Oval Office and do these things.”

Mulvaney explained that significant changes to agency staff would have to be approved by Congress, and would be “hard-wired” into the budget for fiscal year 2019.

Mulvaney said that he invites ideas with an open mind. President Trump wishes to remake the federal government from scratch, without being tied to precedent or budget processes.

Mulvaney said, “This is a big part of draining the swamp. What you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C. and that is how you drain the swamp … This is a centerpiece of his campaign and a centerpiece of his administration.”