Rep. Gerry Connolly, D-Va., whose northern Virginia congressional district is home to a multitude of Federal government employees, is working on legislation that would aim to overturn last week’s controversial White House executive order that would create a new classification of Federal employees in policy-making positions and make it easier to hire and fire them.

The order issued Oct. 21, entitled “Executive Order on Creating Schedule F In The Excepted Service,” sets a new classification for career positions “of a confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating character.” The classification would make these positions ‘at-will’, and would require agencies to inquire with the Federal Labor Relations Authority (FLRA) on whether Schedule F employees should be allowed to join collective bargaining units. The classification would not apply to members of the Senior Excepted Service.

The EO has been met with outrage from Federal employees unions, as well as Rep. Connolly, who is chairman of the House Government Operations subcommittee.

“This Executive Order is yet another attack on Federal employees that addresses absolutely none of the issues that can hinder effective Federal recruitment and hiring,” the congressman said in a statement on Oct. 22. “It’s a cheap ploy to let the Trump Administration replace talent and acumen with fealty and self-dealing.”

A spokesperson for Rep. Connolly confirmed to MeriTalk over the weekend that the congressman is working on separate legislation to overturn the executive order, as well as language to include in upcoming budget legislation that would accomplish the same outcome. The spokesperson said that draft legislative language is not yet available.

“We will stop this one way or another,” Rep. Connolly pledged.

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John Curran
John Curran
John Curran is MeriTalk's Managing Editor covering the intersection of government and technology.