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The federal government should work on behalf of the American taxpayer, not the other way around.
As the ranking Republican member on the House of Representatives’ Government Operations Subcommittee, I serve as the point person for House Republicans on the day-to-day functioning of the federal government – how it buys things, how it’s organized, how it uses information technology. We strive to make sure you – the American taxpayer – get the best services possible.
And I will be the first to admit it can be an uphill battle fighting against the entrenched bureaucracy of the federal government. One of the biggest challenges includes addressing the ongoing federal workforce issues.
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At a recent rally in South Carolina, President Trump suggested federal workers should all be at-will employees, meaning their employment can face termination at any time for any reason – excluding illegal reasons, of course, such as discrimination. This would be a significant shift from the current system, one he tried to reform while in office, where federal employees are protected from discipline or removal in all but the most extreme cases.
President Trump is right to raise the issue.
Since President Biden took office, Democrats have only sought to coddle what they view as a core constituency by removing accountability in the workplace and seeking to heap on more and more benefits for bureaucrats. For example, while Trump established paid parental leave, Democrats sought to vastly expand this to paid leave to the tune of $16 billion. They offered additional paid leave for any number of COVID-related reasons.
They are now looking to make telework and remote work the norm – without any concern for how it will impact service levels on a grander scale. For instance, you can’t issue passports from your couch without considering how it will affect the whole system. Democrats do this in the name of “revitalizing” the federal workforce, despite the fact feds were more satisfied under Trump than President Obama – precisely because Trump worked hard to hold everyone accountable.
The bottom line is this: federal workers are employed to serve the American people.
Since coming to Congress, I have been amazed at how much time some federal employees spend not doing their jobs – they spend it on union activities. Call me crazy, but if you are going to draw a salary from the taxpayer, you should do what you were hired to do.
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I’m a preacher, and I know nothing in this worldly life lasts forever. But a problem employee in the federal workforce sure comes close. It can be next to impossible to remove feds who are not pulling their weight. As a result, managers don’t even bother trying – the removal process becomes a full-time job in and of itself and might take over a year for anything to happen.
All that to say, hard workers in a group setting must pick up their coworker’s slack, creating morale problems for everyone involved. Remember those dreaded high school group projects? Your grade relied on joint effort from the entire team, and if one person refuses to do their work, you’re all affected. You can’t focus on doing your work to the best of your ability while doing someone else’s job. Frustrating, right?
Even worse, these problem employees often get promoted just to get them out of the way. It’s crazy – and the taxpayer ends up footing the bill for their new salary!
This is precisely why last week I introduced a bill to fix some of these problems – The Accountable Federal Employees Act.
This bill makes commonsense federal workplace policy reforms that President Trump tried to implement – reforms President Biden tossed out. It addresses the problems previously mentioned by strictly limiting the amount of time an employee can spend on union activities. Simply put, your day job is your day job.
H.R. 7095 makes sure that union rules don’t tie up managers’ hands when dealing with employees who try to get away with doing as little as possible. It says corrective action, up to removal, can be handled on a case-by-case basis. Nowadays, if one employee gets off easy, everybody in a similar situation must get off easy.
It also expedites these processes; no more dragging things out forever. And an important point: This is the kind of workplace policy reform federal employees themselves want to see implemented.
Since coming to Congress, I have been amazed at how much time some federal employees spend not doing their jobs – they spend it on union
As I mentioned, federal workers were happier under Trump than under Obama because he worked to hold problem employees accountable. During his South Carolina rally, Trump mentioned the need to deal with the “deep state.” Of course, this was quickly dismissed as nothing more than a right-wing conspiracy theory, but as we saw with disgraced FBI agent Peter Strzok, such things have a way of being true.
As soon as Trump took office, federal bureaucrats (apparently still in shock at the defeat of their preferred candidate) immediately began planning how to thwart his policy objectives. None other than the Washington Post ran a story about said bureaucrats and their plans to obstruct his administration from the inside.
Under any other commander-in-chief, the concept of unelected civil servants openly forming a resistance to derail an elected president would be a calamity. We need civil servants in policy-related roles to help the government run smoothly. They aren’t elected officials and don’t have the jurisdiction to decide which policies they are going to work on and which policies they will try to kill.
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The Accountable Federal Employees Act sets up a new category for this group, explicitly saying you faithfully carry out your duties to your country or face swift disciplinary action.
And finally, my bill ensures that union agreements are made with – first and foremost – the American public in mind and that said agreements are negotiated in a timely manner. No more creating a protected class, and no more trying to run the clock out on an administration.
For example, it recently took eight years for one agency to negotiate a deal with its union. Absurd. And a total disgrace to the American taxpayers who are paying for it out of pocket.
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Democrats like to talk about how the federal government should be a model employer, but they use this as an excuse to reward federal employee unions. But unfortunately, they forget the best employers uphold high standards and keep the focus on the customer.
Again, federal employees should work on your behalf.
CLICK HERE TO READ MORE FROM REP. JODY HICE
Source URL: https://www.foxnews.com/opinion/time-to-hold-unelected-federal-employees-accountable