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Chairman Connolly Celebrates House Passage of Bill to Protect the Civil Service

Today, Rep. Gerald E. Connolly, Chairman of the Subcommittee on Government Operations, released the following statement after the U.S. House of Representatives passed H.R. 302, the Preventing a Patronage System Act

“The civil servants who make up our federal workforce are the engine that keep our federal government running,” said Chairman Connolly.  “We rely on their experience and expertise to provide every basic government service—from delivering the mail to helping families in the wake of natural disasters.  The former President’s attempt to remove qualified experts and replace them with political loyalists threatened our national security and our government’s ability to function the way the American people expect it to.  Expertise, not fealty must define our civil service.”


The Preventing a Patronage System Act will secure the civil service and protect federal employees from losing statutory and constitutional protections.  The bill would ensure the civil service system cannot be politically manipulated, by preventing any position in the federal competitive service from being reclassified outside of merit system principles without the express consent of Congress.


Chairman Connolly and Congressman Brian Fitzpatrick (R-PA) introduced the bill on January 2021 after President Trump signed Executive Order 13957, creating Schedule F in the excepted service in October 2020.  This executive order would undermine the merit system principles of our federal workforce by requiring agency heads to reclassify “policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating” positions to a newly created Schedule F category of federal employees that removes their due process rights and civil service protections.  The executive order would have made it easier for any Administration to remove qualified experts from federal service and replace them with political loyalists.


While one of President Biden’s first actions as President was to repeal Trump’s “Schedule F” executive order, the Preventing a Patronage System Act would prevent any future attempts to reinstate it.


Click here for bill text.

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