House Democrats are looking to protect their allies in the federal bureaucracy, making them more difficult to fire and less accountable to the American people.
“The Trump Administration made one thing crystal clear: the American people have very few friends in the Swamp’s alphabet soup of federal agencies,” Rep. Chip Roy (R-TX) exclusively told Breitbart News on Wednesday.
Roy recently introduced legislation that would make all federal bureaucrats at-will employees and therefore easier to fire given incompetence or adverse political motivation.
But Democrats, who derive a significant amount of their power from the constant presence of ideologically loyal career employees, responded with legislation of their own aimed at insulating federal bureaucrats from accountability.
Rep. Gerry Connolly (D-VA), who chairs the Subcommittee on Government Operations, introduced the “Preventing a Patronage System Act” aimed at “maintains protections for civil servants so they cannot be fired for standing up to political pressure.”
The bill would likely be popular in Connolly’s northern Virginia congressional district — an affluent suburb of Washington, DC, that is home to a significant portion of federal bureaucrats and which he won the 2020 election with 71.4 percent of the vote.
Elsewhere in the country, many conservatives see the bill as one of patronage itself, with Democrats seeking to protect their own.
“Now, instead of protecting Americans from federal tyranny, crime-ridden cities and the worst inflation in decades, Democrats are scrambling to reward and further insulate the incompetent, politically motivated bureaucrats who undermine the democratic process,” Roy told Breitbart News. “Meanwhile, adding protections for insubordinate federal employees will only hurt those who serve the public in good faith.”
The bill is cosponsored by former FBI agent Rep. Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA). Fitzpatrick also voted in favor of creating the January 6 commission — the failed precursor to the January 6 select committee show trial.
“I am proud to introduce the Preventing a Patronage System Act, to make sure that our dedicated civil servants who have put in years of merit-based service are not undercut by patronage and political considerations,” Fitzpatrick said. “By strongly supporting experienced civil servants, we will protect merit system principles, which ensure the fairer recruitment of qualified individuals and a more competent, efficient government to help all Americans.”
Conservatives like Roy, however, are calling for a bureaucratic “reckoning” in America, saying, “It’s past time for the protections that empower and shield underperforming and ill-willed employees to be weakened,” in a recent op-ed for Newsweek.
Roy further explained that the “root of this government tyranny” is “the corrupt or inept federal employees burrowed in throughout the federal government.”
Recalling bureaucratic stonewalling during the Trump administration, Roy wrote, “Their actions sabotaged policies the American people voted for. When their conduct came to light, they hid behind bureaucratic procedures to evade consequences.”
Late in his administration, and in response to the “sabotage,” former President Trump signed Executive Order 13957, creating a Schedule F that would allow for bureaucrats with “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” positions to be more easily fired.
Similar ideas, and ideas including a Schedule F option, are currently being floated by conservative think tanks and conservatives politicians who are preparing to staff a new Republican administration or seek to clean up the administrative state.
Roy’s bill appears to go beyond Schedule F, making nonpolitical-appointee employees at-will hires.
The Texas Republican’s plan, and others like it, have been met with fear and disdain from Democrats and their establishment media allies.
A hyperventilating Salon article said that Roy’s plan “further stoked fears that marginalized workers will suffer discriminatory firings under a future Republican administration.”
Another article called another plan to clean up the administrative state “authoritarianism 101” and “truly the implementation of a fascist takeover of our government.”
Conservative voters and Republican politicians have been pointing out corruption and left-wing favor in the federal bureaucracy for years.
“None of those corrupt bureaucrats should be anywhere near the levers of power — they should be fired immediately,” Roy told Breitbart News. “Frankly, some should be jailed for their tyranny against the American people.”
Breccan F. Thies is a reporter for Breitbart News. You can follow him on Twitter @BreccanFThies.