Last week, the National Federation of Federal Employees (NFFE-IAM) sent a letter to the U.S. House of Representatives requesting that members of congress vote for the Preventing a Patronage System Act (H.R. 302) expected on the House floor this week. The bipartisan legislation aims to protect the merit system principles of the federal workforce by preventing the U.S. president from requiring political loyalty from the apolitical career ranks of federal civil service. The bill was drafted in response to the establishment of Schedule F during the last presidential administration, a new classification of political employees that can be hired into permanent positions without regard to existing laws governing federal employment and accountability.
“Federal labor, executives, and professional associations all agree with political appointees from former Democratic and Republican administrations that this bill is critical to ensuring the government remains in the hands of the American people and not some political despot, even if that despot is a president,” said NFFE-IAM Executive Director Steve Lenkart. “This bill describes an incredibly wonky policy issue that is difficult for the average American to embrace, but should the day arrive when federal workers are forced to genuflect before a corrupt system or leader, we will all endure a brutal and horrifying crippling of American democracy.”