Lynch Leads 106 Democrats in Calling for Trump to Reconsider Federal Hiring Freeze
WASHINGTON, D.C. – Today, Congressman Stephen F. Lynch (D-Boston) sent a letter to President-elect Donald Trump requesting he reconsider his proposal to implement a so-called “federal hiring freeze” across the federal government. Congressman Lynch, along with 106 of his House colleagues, raised strong concerns that President-elect Trump’s proposed government-wide hiring freeze would decrease transparency, efficiency, and accountability in the federal government.
“Mr. Trump’s plan will merely increase the number of private contractors and negatively affect the traditional federal employees who keep our agencies running. There is no question that we need to reduce costs within our government, but a hiring freeze will do the opposite,” said Congressman Lynch. “From protecting our national security to providing healthcare to veterans, Americans depend on federal employees each and every day. We should be strengthening the federal workforce by increasing efficiency and ensuring agencies are fulfilling their missions, rather than implementing a devastating hiring freeze that will increase backlogs, decrease the quality of service, and raise contracting costs,” Congressman Lynch added.
In particular, the letter highlights a Government Accountability Office (GAO) audit report, entitled “Recent Government-Wide Hiring Freezes Prove Ineffective in Managing Federal Employment,” which reviewed a series of hiring freezes implemented during the Carter and Reagan Administrations. These hiring freezes merely provided an “illusion of control” over federal workforce levels, but were “not an effective means of controlling federal employment.” The report also notes that hiring freezes disrupted vital agency operations and diminished federal oversight of agency programs.
In addition, the letter notes that it is critically important that the federal government closes mission-critical skills gaps in areas such as cybersecurity, science, technology, engineering, and other key trades. With approximately one third of full time federal workers eligible to retire by 2019, it is even more imperative that the federal government act quickly to hire employees with expertise in these areas, rather than halt hiring altogether.
President-elect Trump’s federal hiring freeze would impose additional constraints on federal agencies that are already operating under difficult budgetary limitations. Devastating sequestration cuts, related furloughs, and even a 16-day government shutdown, combined with a growing U.S. population compared to relatively stagnant federal employment levels, have strained our federal workforce in recent years.
Congressman Lynch’s letter is proudly supported by the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), the National Treasury Employees Union (NTEU), the American Federation of State, County & Municipal Employees (AFSCME), the Federal Managers Association (FMA), the National Association of Letter Carriers (NALC), the National Postal Mail Handlers Union (NPMHU), the National Rural Letter Carriers Association (NRLCA), the American Postal Workers Union (APWU), the International Association of Fire Fighters (IAFF), the Senior Executives Association (SEA), the National Active and Retired Federal Employees Association (NARFE), the FAA Managers Association (FAAMA), the National Council of Social Security Management Associations (NCSSMA), the National Association of Federal Veterinarians (NAFV), the National Weather Service Employees Organization (NWSEO), the Patent Office Professional Association (POPA), and Professional Aviation Safety Specialists (PASS).
“Forbidding agencies from hiring the people they need, when they need them, to carry out the people’s work is no way to run the government. Many agencies already are operating under unofficial hiring freezes due to budget cuts, forcing federal employees to do more with less. A hiring freeze will inevitably lead to the federal government outsourcing work, which has been proven to be far more costly than federal employees doing the work. Hiring freezes also have a disproportionate impact on veterans and minorities, who make up much of the federal workforce. For every day there’s a hiring freeze, understaffed VA hospitals go without the doctors and nurses they desperately need, retirees wait in longer lines to visit their Social Security offices, and communities that depend on federal jobs for their economic survival suffer,” said AFGE National President J. David Cox Sr.
“Hiring freezes, which have been tried in the past and failed, are an ineffective way to manage a workforce and control costs,” said Tony Reardon, National President of the National Treasury Employees Union. “I strongly agree with Congressman Lynch's view that a federal hiring freeze will only serve to hurt the American public. Taxpayers are demanding timely service from agencies that are already struggling to achieve their missions because of reduced budgets and staffing. In order to successfully serve the President, Congress, and the public, the federal workforce cannot be held hostage by arbitrary cuts.”
Joining Congressman Lynch on the letter opposing President-elect Trump’s proposed federal hiring freeze are: Rep. Steny H. Hoyer (MD-05); Rep. Elijah E. Cummings (MD-07); Rep. Alma S. Adams (NC-12); Rep. Joyce Beatty (OH-03); Rep. Donald S. Beyer; Jr. (VA-08); Rep. Sanford D. Bishop; Jr. (GA-02); Rep. Earl Blumenauer (OR-03); Rep. Suzanne Bonamici (OR-01); Rep. Madeleine Z. Bordallo (GU); Rep. Brendan F. Boyle (PA-13); Rep. Robert A. Brady (PA-01); Rep. Julia Brownley (CA-26); Rep. Michael E. Capuano (MA-07); Rep. Tony Cárdenas (CA-29); Rep. Kathy Castor (FL-14); Rep. David N. Cicilline (RI-01); Rep. Wm. Lacy Clay (MO-01); Rep. Katherine Clark (MA-05); Rep. Steve Cohen (TN-09); Rep. Joe Courtney (CT-02); Rep. Judy Chu (CA-27); Rep. Gerald E. Connolly (VA-11); Rep. John Conyers; Jr. (MI-13); Rep. Danny K. Davis (IL-07); Rep. John K. Delaney (MD-06) ; Rep. Rosa L. DeLauro (CT-03); Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); Rep. Lloyd Doggett (TX-35); Rep. Mike Doyle (PA-14); Rep. Bill Foster (IL-11); Rep. Marcia L. Fudge (OH-11); Rep. Vicente Gonzalez (TX-15); Rep. Al Green (TX-09); Rep. Gene Green (TX-29); Rep. Raúl M. Grijalva (AZ-03); Rep. Michelle Lujan Grisham (NM-01); Rep. Colleen Hanabusa (HI-01); Rep. Alcee L. Hastings (FL-20); Rep. Sheila Jackson Lee (TX-18); Rep. Hakeem Jeffries (NY-08); Rep. Eddie Bernice Johnson (TX-30); Rep. Henry C. “Hank” Johnson; Jr. (GA-04); Rep. Marcy Kaptur (OH-09); Rep. William R. Keating (MA-09); Rep. Joseph P. Kennedy III (MA-06); Rep. Dan Kildee (MI-05); Rep. Derek Kilmer (WA-06); Rep. James R. Langevin (RI-02); Rep. Rick Larsen (WA-02); Rep. Brenda L. Lawrence (MI-14); Rep. Sander Levin (MI-09); Rep. John Lewis (GA-05); Rep. Ted W. Lieu (CA-33); Rep. Daniel Lipinski (IL-03); Rep. Zoe Lofgren (CA-19); Rep. Alan Lowenthal (CA-47); Rep. Ben Ray Lujan (NM-03); Rep. Carolyn B. Maloney (NY-12); Rep. Sean Patrick Maloney (NY-18); Rep. Doris O. Matsui (CA-06); Rep. Betty McCollum (MN-04); Rep. James P. McGovern (MA-02); Rep. Gregory Meeks (NY-05); Rep. Grace Meng (NY-06); Rep. Seth Moulton (MA-06); Rep. Jerrold Nadler (NY-10); Rep. Grace F. Napolitano (CA-32); Rep. Richard E. Neal (MA-01); Rep. Richard M. Nolan (MN-08); Rep. Donald Norcross (NJ-01), Rep. Eleanor Holmes Norton (DC); Rep. Beto O’ Rourke (TX-16); Rep. Bill Pascrell; Jr. (NJ-09); Rep. Ed Perlmutter (CO-07); Rep. Scott Peters (CA-52); Rep. Collin C. Peterson (MN-07); Rep. Chellie Pingree (ME-01); Rep. Mark Pocan (WI-02); Rep. Stacey E. Plaskett (VI); Rep. Mike Quigley (IL-05); Rep. Jamie Raskin (MD-08); Rep. Cedric L. Richmond (LA-02); Rep. Lucille Roybal-Allard (CA-40); Rep. Tim Ryan (OH-13); Rep. C.A. Dutch Ruppersberger (MD-02); Rep. Linda T. Sánchez (CA-38); Rep. John P. Sarbanes (MD-03); Rep. Jan Schakowsky (IL-09); Rep. Adam B. Schiff (CA-28); Rep. Robert C. “Bobby” Scott (VA-03); Rep. David Scott (GA-13); Rep. José E. Serrano (NY-15); Rep. Albio Sires (NJ-08; Rep. Darren Soto (FL-09); Rep. Eric Swalwell (CA-15); Rep. Dina Titus (NV-01); Rep. Paul D. Tonko (NY-20); Rep. Niki Tsongas (MA-03); Rep. Juan Vargas (CA-51); Rep. Nydia M. Velázquez (NY-07); Rep. Filemon Vela (TX-34); Rep. Peter J. Visclosky (IN-01); Rep. Debbie Wasserman Schultz (FL-23); Rep. Bonnie Watson Coleman (NJ-12); Rep. Peter Welch (VT); and Rep. John Yarmuth (KY-03).
The text of the letter is available here.