Democrats on the House oversight committee requested a hearing to investigate President Donald Trump’s temporary federal hiring freeze in a move that stands to benefit their political benefactors, public employees.
The group of House Democrats, led by ranking member Rep. Elijah Cummings of Maryland, sent a letter to committee chairman GOP Rep. Trey Gowdy of South Carolina, alleging that Trump’s executive order restricting the hiring of federal employees amounts to executive overreach.
“We are writing to request that the Oversight Committee hold hearings on the actions of the Trump administration in restricting the hiring of federal employees across multiple federal agencies – without the approval of congress- and the detrimental effects that the resulting staffing shortfalls are causing,” the letter, dated Oct. 5, reads.
The Democratic lawmakers’ objection may yield political capital as the core beneficiaries of expanded government, federal employees, overwhelmingly donate to Democratic campaigns, both individually and through their labor unions.
In the 2016 presidential election, Democrats received 82 percent of the $6.6 million in campaign contributions by employees of 11 federal agencies and congressional staffers. More than 82 percent of $4.3 million in donations from nine major federal unions went to Democrats, Center for Responsive Politics data show.
Additionally, more than 90 percent of employee donations from the departments of State, Health and Human Services, Justice, Energy and Education went to Democrats. (RELATED: Democrats Make Millions More Off Federal Unions, Bureaucrats Than Republicans)
Trump instituted a temporary federal hiring freeze upon taking office in January in an effort to counter “dramatic expansion of the federal workforce.” The freeze was lifted in April but some agencies have extended it, according to the letter’s signatories.
The coalition of House Democrats is requesting access to the various agencies’ reform plans that were due by Sept. 30 and detail the ways in which they plan on restructuring their respective agencies.
“Our committee has jurisdiction over both the federal workforce and proposed agency reorganizations, and the Trump administration is now in the midst of one of the largest reorganizations in decades with virtually no oversight by Congress,” they wrote. “As members of this committee, we believe it is our job to analyze the Trump administration’s plans to determine if, and to what extent, these massive reductions in staffing will impact the services the American people rely on every single day.”
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