Monday, April 15, 2024

Trump’s Plans to Gut Government Terrify Washington; Liberals Scramble to Blunt His Powers if Reelected

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Washington D.C. – Should former President Donald Trump return to the White House after the 2024 election, he intends to pursue an aggressive agenda that has many in Washington concerned. According to sources, Trump plans major structural changes across federal agencies that threaten to destabilize the government.

Liberal advocacy groups and the Biden administration have begun developing contingency plans to protect policies and guardrails on presidential powers in case Trump is victorious. However, experts admit options are limited against what could be drastic actions by Trump if he secures a second term.

Trump Looks to Reshuffle Federal Workforce

In remarks made over the past two years, Trump has repeatedly indicated plans to remove large numbers of career federal employees across agencies, shrinking and gutting entire departments.

Sources say Trump is looking to revive a controversial 2020 executive order that created a new “Schedule F” employment classification. Under Schedule F, over 10 times more employees could be reclassified into roles without civil service job protections, allowing them to be more easily terminated and replaced with political appointees loyal to Trump.

Some estimates suggest up to 50,000 federal workers could fall under Schedule F, though the exact impact is uncertain. Career employees handling scientific research, benefits programs, oil leases, and more could be vulnerable to removal.

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In September 2022, the federal Office of Personnel Management (OPM) issued a proposed regulation to safeguard federal employees from reclassification into Schedule F. However, if finalized before January 2025, a second Trump administration would likely suspend these protections. Trump campaign spokesman Taylor Budowich did not reply to a request for comments.

Additionally, conservative groups like the Heritage Foundation have outlined plans to eliminate entire federal departments and functions seen as obstructing Trump’s agenda through attrition or termination of personnel.

Fears Grow Over Autocratic Actions

Watchdog organizations warn Trump may take unprecedented steps to consolidate power if reelected. Based on Trump’s statements and actions during his first term, they fear he could:

  • Deploy U.S. military forces for domestic law enforcement without justification.
  • Politicize federal agencies to exclusively serve the administration’s interests through purges of undesirable civil servants.
  • Abuse emergency provisions and executive authority to override courts and Congress.

Trump has expressed admiration for the broad authority wielded by leaders like Turkey’s Erdogan and Hungary’s Orbán to unilaterally enact their platform. This worries ethics experts who see authoritarian tendencies in his rhetoric.

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“Trump is already telegraphing plays straight out of the authoritarian playbook – gutting the civil service and plotting revenge on his enemies,” said Kevin Munoz, spokesman for President Biden’s reelection campaign. There’s one way of stopping Trump’s dangerous and un-American plans: reelecting President Biden.”

Efforts Underway to Limit Presidential Powers

With the possibility of a Trump comeback looming, liberal organizations have approached the Biden administration about enacting safeguards against expansive presidential powers. Suggestions from advocates include:

  • Executive actions guiding domestic military operations to prevent misuse.
  • Accelerating collective bargaining agreements to strengthen civil service employee protections.
  • Expediting the rulemaking process to codify agency structure and jurisdiction, hindering attempts to dismantle departments.

While supportive of these efforts, the White House remains cautious about projecting anything but confidence in Biden’s reelection chances. “He is already telegraphing plays straight out of the authoritarian playbook,” said Kevin Munoz about Trump. “There’s one way of stopping Trump’s dangerous and un-American plans: reelecting President Biden.”

The Office of Personnel Management also continues advancing proposals to guard the nonpartisan civil service, despite pressure from conservatives to drop these regulations. In addition, Congress has moved to reform the Electoral Count Act and check unwarranted declarations of emergency powers.

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Yet windows are closing for impactful countermeasures, and presidential authorities remain formidable. Nobody should be under any illusion that there’s anything that this president can do in advance to prevent the next president from doing things that are very damaging,” said former OMB official Michael Linden.

With Trump already orchestrating his return, many fear a reckoning with the limits of democracy should he regain control. Vowing destruction of the administrative state, Heritage Foundation President Kevin Roberts chillingly justified coming hardships: “People will lose their jobs. Hopefully their lives are able to flourish in spite of that.”

The 2024 election may thus represent another inflection point in an increasingly polarized America. Either Trump succeeds in unraveling norms and accountability mechanisms across Washington, or the system contains his impulses once more. The choice ahead is stark for voters – four more years of escalating rhetoric and brash disregard for limits, or a course correction to stabilize governing institutions against gathering threats.

Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee
Mezhar Alee is a prolific author who provides commentary and analysis on business, finance, politics, sports, and current events on his website Opportuneist. With over a decade of experience in journalism and blogging, Mezhar aims to deliver well-researched insights and thought-provoking perspectives on important local and global issues in society.

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