In 2016, then-candidate for president Donald Trump ran on a platform of “draining the swamp” and won the Republican nomination and the presidency of the United States. Trump’s efforts to drain the “swamp” won over MAGA fans, but not Washington elites. Republicans became divided… MAGA against RINOS, or “mainstream” Republicans.
The phrase “drain the swamp” has been used for years by reformers of political laws and lobbyists to describe the incestuous character of career politicians and government workers. During his 2016 presidential campaign, Trump declared, “It is time to drain the swamp in Washington, D.C. This is why I’m proposing a package of ethics reforms to make our government honest once again.”
Trump’s plan includes enforcing stricter “revolving door” laws prohibiting officials from leaving the government and lobbying their former colleagues, as well as requesting a five-year lobbying ban for senators, top employees, and senators.
Trump signed an executive order on ethics in January 2017 that addressed “revolving door” restrictions, but a Democratic-dominated Congress thwarted his actions that had to pass through them. Now that the House is held by Republicans, the scenario is more favorable for Trump should he be elected president in 2024.
With the implementation of President Joe Biden’s administration, the “swamp” has returned in full force. However, with the appointment of Kevin McCarthy as House Speaker, which was negotiated through the cooperation of MAGA and other Republicans, and the Republican control of the House, the “swamp” is once again receiving increased attention.
Former President Donald Trump has declared his ambition to run for president in 2024 and outlined his strategy for doing so. During his first term as a political outsider, Trump upset both Democrats and Republicans. With one term under his belt, Trump is reportedly considering a second term in which he will be even more vigorous in tackling the problem of the “swamp’s” entrenchment in the governance of the United States.
The Washington Examiner reports:
Word sweeping through Washington is that former President Donald Trump’s team is already looking at how it would do things differently in a second term.
The “swamp” is concerned about a proposal for an executive order that would permit the quick termination of federal employees, therefore terminating their near-permanent employment status.
“It would strip any official who has anything to do with policy of any real career protections or due process. Government employees could essentially be fired at will or even on a whim,” warned a federal worker union official.
As president, Trump and his budget team hoped to change the government hiring and firing procedures to more closely resemble business America, but they were faced with fierce opposition from federal unions.
The Federation for American Immigration Reform, headquartered in Washington, has a new executive director well-versed in Trump-style immigration policies. Julie Kirchner is also a FAIR veteran, having previously held this position. She was a prominent officer with U.S. Customs and Border Protection and the U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services ombudsman during the Trump administration.
In 2018, the New York Times reported on Trump’s activities in the second year of his first term.
“Seizing on a longtime ambition of many Republicans, President trump on ?Friday overhauled rules affecting at least two million federal workers, making it easier to fire them and rolling back the workplace role of their unions.
Mr. Trump, furthering a goal cited in his State of the Union address this year, signed a series of executive orders affecting disciplinary procedures and contract negotiations and limiting the conduct of union business on government time.
Andrew Bremberg, the head of the White House Domestic Policy councit, said the president was ‘fulfilling his promise to promote more efficient government by reforming our Civil Service rules.’”
The Times continued that “Past administrations of both parties have argued that Civil Service rules are in need of modernization…”
Unions were not pleased with President Trump’s efforts to level the playing field in the civil sector, and with a Democrat-controlled Congress, he was unable to make this happen. The Hill then reported that in September of 2022, the then-Democratic House enacted a law “protecting federal employees from Schedule F.”
Trump’s “Schedule F” plan, which permitted these adjustments to the civil service standards, is the plan that the Trump campaign would swiftly reinstate if he is elected president in 2024. The first phase of the future Trump administration’s plan to drain the swamp will be to authorize the dismissal of federal employees. The job security of federal employees has long been a worry for those who fear that the government’s limited resources will impede the efforts of future governments.