President Donald Trump signed an executive order to freeze all federal hiring except for national security employees, which was a campaign promise of his.
The plan excludes the “military, public safety, and public health,” according to the nascent Trump administration’s “Contract with the American Voter.”
In early January, it was reported that former President Barack Obama was increasing the hiring of federal employees to get them in place before Trump took over. Individuals who were hired but haven’t started working might be affected by Trump’s order.
Trump enacted the order to reduce payrolls and curb the size of the federal workforce.
The signing is similar to one that former President George W. Bush signed at the beginning of his administration in 2001.
The largest federal employee union criticized Trump’s move on Monday.
“President Trump’s action will disrupt government programs and services that benefit everyone and actually increase taxpayer costs by forcing agencies to hire more expensive contractors to do work that civilian government employees are already doing for far less,” said American Federation of Government Employees President J. David Cox in a statement, as reported by the Washington Post. “This hiring freeze will mean longer lines at Social Security offices, fewer workplace safety inspections, less oversight of environmental polluters, and greater risk to our nation’s food supply and clean water systems.”
The new president also nixed the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) trade deal, which was backed by the Obama administration.
In a statement, Vermont Sen. Bernie Sanders praised Trump’s move to do away with the TPP deal.
“I am glad the Trans-Pacific Partnership is dead and gone. For the last 30 years, we have had a series of trade deals—including the North American Free Trade Agreement, permanent normal trade relations with China and others—which have cost us millions of decent-paying jobs and caused a ‘race to the bottom’ which has lowered wages for American workers, ” Sanders said in a statement. “If President Trump is serious about a new policy to help American workers then I would be delighted to work with him.”
He also reinstated the GOP-backed “Mexico City policy” that was first instituted by ex-President Ronald Reagan, which essentially banned recipients of U.S. foreign aid from promoting abortion as a means of family planning. Both Obama and ex-President Bill Clinton revoked the deal.