Trump's Plan to Dismiss Government Workers Sparks Liberal Backlash

Clash Over Governance Intensifies Ahead of Elections

by Zain ul Abedin
Trump's Plan to Dismiss Government Workers Sparks Liberal Backlash
© Joe Raedle/Getty Images

In a bold and potentially transformative move, former President Donald Trump is planning a comprehensive overhaul of the federal government should he return to the White House. His agenda includes extensive deportation of illegal immigrants, the dismantling of government agencies, and the dismissal of thousands of federal workers, replaced by his loyalists.

In anticipation, liberal organizations in Washington are fortifying support for President Joe Biden while strategizing countermeasures for a possible Trump victory. This coalition, including activists, legal experts, and advocates, is advocating for new federal rules to curb presidential power.

Their efforts are aimed at preserving Biden's policies and limiting Trump's potential actions in a second term. This initiative is a quieter counterpart to the publicly known Project 2025, a plan by Trump's supporters to prepare a government-in-waiting.

The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) is playing a pivotal role, proposing a rule against reclassifying federal workers, which could protect tens of thousands from easy dismissal. OPM spokesperson Viet Tran confirms the rule's finalization by April, setting a complex challenge for any future administration seeking its reversal.

Debate Over Presidential Power

Michael Linden, a former executive at the White House Office of Management and Budget under Biden, cautions that these preventive measures have their limits. Concurrently, Biden's campaign spokesperson Kevin Munoz criticizes Trump's tactics as authoritarian, highlighting the urgency of reelecting Biden to counter Trump's plans.

Norm Eisen, former chief ethics counselor to President Obama, suggests Biden issue executive orders limiting domestic military use, considering Trump's past proposals of deploying troops to crime-ridden cities and the southern border.

At the crux of these political maneuvers is the debate over the scope of presidential power in firing and replacing federal employees. Trump's proposed “Schedule F” category, intended to make federal workers at-will employees, was revoked by Biden but Trump promises its reinstatement.

This political chess game extends beyond party lines, involving advocacy groups and think tanks. The OPM's proposed rule, supported by diverse organizations, seeks to safeguard employee classifications and uphold democratic governance principles.

As the political landscape braces for the upcoming elections, these developments underscore the ongoing battle for the soul and structure of the American government, with each side poised to shape its future.