Biden Prepares to Restrict Presidents From Removing Civil Service Protections

President Joe Biden is already apparently preparing for a future Trump administration.

Politico reported this week that the Biden administration was putting the finishing touches on a new plan that would restrict future presidents from nixing protections for civil service workers unilaterally.

This comes as former President Donald Trump is renewing vows to uproot a “deep state” should he return to the White House for another term.

It’s possible that any future president could take action that would ultimately change this directive, it does show that Biden is concerned about what Trump might do if he becomes president again. And, as such, the current president is trying to put as many protections in place as possible before another president takes over Washington.

A final rule that the Office of Personnel Management issued states that any employee who works in a job that include civil service protections wouldn’t lose those protections if their role is converted to a category that’s exempt from them.

These workers could also choose to waive that security, or move voluntarily to a new role that serves at the president’s will.

The regulations further establish some procedural hurdles that a White House administration would have to take if it desired to change jobs between the different categories. And federal workers who think they’re being unfairly stripped of protections would have the right to challenge that with the Merit Systems Protection Board, which is an independent agency.

In other words, what the Biden administration has done with this latest move is make it more challenging and time-consuming for a president to reverse them in the future.

As Rob Shriver, the deputy director of OPM, told reporters recently:

“This rule is about making sure the American public can continue to count on federal workers to apply their skills and expertise in carrying out their jobs, no matter their personal political beliefs.”

This new rule change is viewed widely as a response to an executive order that Trump issued in the fall of 2020 that created Schedule F, a designation for any employee in policymaking roles that made them subject to hiring, firing and shuffling around much easier.

In a recent statement, Max Stier, who serves as the Partnership for Public Service’s president, said:

“Today’s final rule is a necessary step to prevent partisan abuse of the civil service rules and a return to the failures and corruption of the spoils system of the 1800s.”

Tens of thousands of workers for the federal government would’ve been affected by the executive order Trump issued. These people help to develop and carry out certain policies.

Immediately after Biden took office, he halted the overhaul of the federal government that Trump had initiated. Many groups that were liberal leaning — including labor unions — advocated for more safeguards to be put in place to prevent an upheaval to the current merit system from being undertaken in the future.