Biden administration passes final rule to keep federal workforce independent

The rule was put in place as a “step toward combating corruption and partisan interference.”

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The Biden administration finalized a new rule that brings greater protections to career federal workers. The final rule will protect 2.2 million federal civil service employees from political hirings and firings.

The rule was put in place as a “step toward combating corruption and partisan interference,” President Biden said.

“Today, my administration is announcing protections for 2.2 million career civil servants from political interference, to guarantee that they can carry out their responsibilities in the best interest of the American people,” Biden said.

A “strengthened effort to preempt a president from gutting the federal civil service,” the final rule helps to clarify existing rights for career civil servants “by making clear that civil service protections cannot be taken away from employees unless they give them up voluntarily,” KTVZ.com reported. This also ensures that jobs won’t shift into a status where protections could be taken away.

“An independent federal workforce ensures that our government works for all of us, not for one party or one person,” Bitsy Skerry, regulatory policy associate for Public Citizen, said. “Our nation’s civil servants, the workhorses of our democracy, deserve strong protections to ensure their jobs are based on a foundation of nonpartisan merit and expertise, not partisan bias and loyalty. Civil servants across the country, not just in Washington, D.C., serve the public interest every day by delivering our mail, ensuring the food and medicine we purchase is safe, and protecting our national security.”

According to the American Federation of Government Employees, a federal employee union representing 750,000 federal and District of Columbia government workers, these protections will “help maintain the stability of the government regardless of the political administration,” KTVZ.com reported.

“President Biden’s action reinforces and clarifies federal employees’ due process rights and civil service protections, strengthening the apolitical civil service and hampering efforts to return the government to a corrupt spoils system,” Everett Kelley, the union’s national president, said.

The final rule will grant protections to a diverse range of federal workers in Washington, D.C. and across the country, like U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Postal Service.

“Safeguarding their jobs protects us all, and the Biden administration’s new rule does just that,” Skerry said.

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