President-elect Trump promises to order federal hiring freeze in first 100 days
WASHINGTON (ABC7) —
Two-and-a-half weeks ago, Donald Trump laid out his plans for his first 100 days in office.
Number two on his list is something that stands out for many workers in the D.C. area — a Federal hiring freeze.
L’Enfant Plaza is a second home to thousands of federal government workers.
On this meet-and-greet day for the new President-elect, some are learning about a new Trump plan that includes a federal hiring freeze.
“I'm hugely concerned,” says Gioia Albi, a twenty-year federal employee. “Just to get hired in the federal government is difficult. Now you're talking about stopping that? It hugely concerns me.”
Trump first pitched the idea in October, during a speech in Gettysburg, Pennsylvania.
“A hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal workforce through attrition,” he said.
The president-elect called the plan a top priority.
It would reduce the federal workforce by not replacing people who leave government service.
“The impact would be huge,” Albi says. “I mean, there would be a lot of people looking for jobs. That’s where most of the people find their jobs, either directly for the federal government or as a contractor.”
There would be exceptions: the military, and public safety and health agencies would not be affected.
There are now nearly 412,000 federal workers in the District, Maryland and Virginia.
There are 1.9 million nationwide.
Some employees fear under the plan, they’d be doing more with less.
“You have a limited staff,” says Marissa Charles, a budget analyst. “I'm going to assume you are going to have to work more hours and that's going to impact the budget. Overall, we’re going to need more people.”
The idea goes further than most GOP spending plans.
Republican lawmakers have long called for federal agencies to reduce non-national security employees by ten percent, by filling just one of three vacancies.
“The more hype around it, the more fear there is,” says Dan Blair, president of the National Academy of Public Administration.
He is hoping Trump will go slow on the plan.
“It needs to be more of a pause and it needs to be done strategically,” Blair says. “With the flexibility to backfill those critical positions, as they become vacant.”
Right now, there are not many specifics, something that has many federal workers nervous.
“I don’t think it’s a good idea,” says Stephanie Alvarez, a federal contractor. “I mean, it’s going to make a lot of people upset. It’s very unsettling.”
For the moment, the notion of a hiring freeze is a whole new territory, with a new administration coming into power.
“I’m still processing the fact that President Trump is going to be President Trump whenever he gets in office,” Charles says.