Less than a week into the new administration, President Trump is already taking strides to reduce the waste, fraud, and abuse that is running rampant in our federal government. On Monday, the President issued a memorandum to the heads of executive departments and agencies placing an employment freeze on all federal hiring, except for the most vital positions in national security, public safety, and our military. President Trump wrote, “I ask that you seek efficient use of existing personnel and funds to improve public services and the delivery of these services.”
His actions are the first of many to take back control of the People’s government and reinstate the efficiency and accountability that was lacking over the last eight years during the Obama Administration. In the coming months, I will be reintroducing my own bill, the Federal Employee Accountability Act, to further reduce waste among federal agencies.
When I came to office, I was shocked to learn that there are thousands of federal employees collecting paychecks – paid by the American taxpayer – without performing the duties they were hired to do. The practice of “official time” is utilized by various federal agencies, like the Internal Revenue Service, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and the Environmental Protection Agency. This practice essentially allows for employees to perform union activities, which are often political in nature, during the workday on the taxpayer’s dime.
“Official time” has steadily increased over the years, and some agencies have over 200 employees operating solely on official time. This would be unacceptable in any other industry, and it is especially unacceptable for someone working on the American tax roll. My bill is estimated to save the taxpayers upwards of one billion dollars over the next ten years. Let that sink in. One billion dollars. And it would prevent federal employees from using official time to carry out internal union activities.
As a member of the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which will have jurisdiction over this measure, I am dedicated to advancing this legislation which would curb the ability of federal agencies to employ individuals who never carry out the duties they were hired to perform.
Respecting the American taxpayer is a quality that is fundamental to conservative values, and ensuring that the federal government creates legislation that is efficient and effective is a priority for me and for the incoming administration. Together, Congress and President Trump will be working hard to make sure we uphold the priorities of the American people.
The Honorable Jody Hice represents Georgia’s 10th District in the U.S. House of Representatives. He is a member of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee