Trump Could Seek New Law to Purge Government of Obama Appointees
Christie fears Obama might secure the jobs of his current appointees before Trump has a chance to fire them.
If he wins the presidency,
Republican presidential nominee Donald Trump would seek to purge
the federal government of officials appointed by Democratic
President Barack Obama and could ask Congress to pass
legislation making it easier to fire public workers, Trump ally,
Chris Christie, said on Tuesday.
Governor of New Jersey, Christie, leads Trump’s White House transition team. The campaign was drawing up a list of federal government employees to fire if Trump defeats Democratic rival Hillary Clinton in the 8 November presidential election.
“As you know from his other career, Donald likes to fire people,” Christie told a closed-door meeting with dozens of donors at the Republican National Convention (RNC) in Cleveland, according to an audio recording obtained by Reuters and two participants in the meeting.
Christie was referring to Trump’s starring role in the long-running television show The Apprentice where his catch-phrase was “You’re fired!”.
The Trump campaign did not respond to requests for comment.
Trump’s transition advisers’ fear is that Obama may convert these appointees to civil servants, who have more job security than officials who have been politically appointed. This would allow officials to keep their jobs in a new, possibly Republican, administration, Christie said.
It’s called burrowing. You take them from the political appointee side into the civil service side, in order to try to set up [...] roadblocks for your successor, kind of like when all the Clinton people took all the Ws off the keyboard when George Bush was coming into the White House.Chris Christie
Christie was referring to pranks committed during the presidential transition from Bill Clinton to George W Bush in 2001.
During that period, some White House staffers removed the W key on computer keyboards and left derogatory signs and stickers in offices, according to a report by the General Accounting Office, an investigative arm of Congress.
One of the things I have suggested to Donald is that we have to immediately ask the Republican Congress to change the civil service laws. Because if they do, it will make it a lot easier to fire those people.Chris Christie
Christie also told the gathering that changing the leadership of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), long a target of Republicans concerned about over-regulation, would be a top priority for Trump should he win in November.
Trump has previously vowed to eliminated the EPA and roll back some of America’s most ambitious environmental policies, actions that he says would revive the US oil and coal industries and bolster national security.
Christie added that the Trump team wants to let businesspeople serve in government part time without having to give up their jobs in the private sector.
Trump frequently says he is better equipped to be president because of his business experience. Although Christie was repeatedly asked during the meeting, he declined to name any potential Cabinet picks. He said Trump was not ready to do that yet.
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