White House relents on federal hiring freeze

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The White House is lifting President Trump’s federal hiring freeze after critics complained there were unexpected shortfalls in several areas of government.

“It does not mean the agencies will be free to hire willy-nilly,” OMB Director Mick Mulvaney said on Tuesday. “What we’re doing tomorrow is replacing the across-the-board hiring freeze that was put in place on day one and replacing it with a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan.”

According to The Hill, after Trump signed an executive order that temporarily stopped all non-military federal hiring, it resulted in an increased backlog of benefits claims at the Veterans Affairs, delays in the processing of Social Security checks, staff shortages at federal prisons, the closure of childcare facilities at military bases and less workers at the Food and Drug Administration to work on drug approvals.

Trump’s original plan with the freeze was to “drain the swamp,” and Mulvaney said the upcoming changes will not effect that plan.

“This is a big part of draining the swamp,” the budget director said Tuesday. “Really, what you’re talking about doing is restructuring Washington, D.C. That is how you drain the swamp.”

Several offices and agencies could still be eliminated following the White House decision to lift the freeze, and all federal agencies are currently under pressure to look for ways to scale down the size of their workforce and maximize employee performance.

H/T: The Hill 

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