Democrats Want Hearing on Size of Federal Workforce

OCTOBER 10, 2017

Rep. Elijah Cummings (D-MD), Ranking Member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, along with the other 18 Democratic members of the committee, sent a letter last week to Chairman Trey Gowdy (R-SC), requesting hearing on the Trump Administration’s plans to reduce the size of the federal workforce.

The Democrats also requested that the Committee request copies of those “downsizing plans” that each federal agency had to submit by the end of Fiscal Year 2017 (September 30, 2017) to respond to President Trump’s January 23, 2017 Memorandum, “Presidential Memorandum Regarding the Hiring Freeze.”

The letter highlights concerns about hiring restrictions that have continued indefinitely at EPA and the Departments of State and Health and Human Services, highlighting that EPA left more than 250 positions unfilled during the hiring freeze.

Additionally, EPA has “reduced its workforce by up to 1,227 employees through buyouts and early-outs, and EPA’s fiscal year 2018 budget request indicated a plan to reduce its workforce by 3,979 FTE (full-time equivalents) over 2017 levels, or nearly 25%.”

The letter concludes, “If the Trump Administration officials truly believe their policies will make our nation safer, make our air and water cleaner, and make American families healthier, they should prove it in the full light of day. They should submit their plans to Congress, they should testify under oath, and they should answer questions from Members of our Committee.”

Chairman Gowdy has not yet responded to the request.