With many polls showing Donald Trump in a highly competitive race to retake the White House, the Biden administration is trying to make it difficult for the former president to regain control of the executive branch even if he wins in 2024.
The White House proposed a new rule Friday aimed at impeding Trump or a similarly minded Republican president's ability to replace the federal workforce with loyalists, strengthening protections for civil service employees.
It ensures that a move Trump tried to make in the last year of his presidency to broaden the number of federal employees not subject to political protections would have significant hurdles if tried again.
The Trump executive order, which established a category called "Schedule F," set the groundwork for the former president in his hoped-for second term to fire a slate of career bureaucrats.
While Schedule F's legality was never tested due to President Joe Biden's revoking it upon his inauguration, Trump has vowed to reinstate it if he returns to office in 2025, causing Democrats to sound the alarm.
Now, the rule proposed by the White House's Office of Personnel Management in its Federal Register filing allows workers to keep their existing job protections even if their position were reclassified.
The rule also tightens the definition of what positions can be exempted from civil service job protections, specifically limiting it to noncareer political appointees.
Biden officials expect to complete the rule by early 2024, The New York Times reported.
The public will now have 60 days to comment on the proposed rule.
Russ Vought, a former director of the Office of Management and Budget who now heads the Center for Renewing America, defended the Trump-era rule as aimed at removing "poor performers."
"Schedule F rests on a sound legal foundation, is going to succeed spectacularly. And the only chance to stop it is to install procedural roadblocks," Vought said.
Luca Cacciatore, a Newsmax general assignment writer, is based in Arlington, Virginia, reporting on news and politics.
© 2023 Newsmax. All rights reserved.