Congressional Failure to Address Schedule F in Omnibus Spending Bill

The voice of career Federal executives since 1980


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December 21, 2020

Jason Briefel

[email protected]

Congressional Failure to Address Schedule F in Omnibus Spending Bill Reveals Congressional Apathy Toward Issues of Effective Governance


WASHINGTON, DC – Today, Bob Corsi, Interim President of the Senior Executives Association (SEA) – the nonprofit, nonpartisan professional association that has since 1980 been the voice of the career Senior Executive Service (SES) and senior career leaders across the federal government – released the following statement regarding Congress’ failure to include a provision in the omnibus spending bill which addressed President Trump’s Executive Order on the Creation of Schedule F in the Federal Workforce:


“We are grateful Republicans and Democrats have come together to avoid a government shutdown. Unfortunately, keeping the government open is the bare minimum needed to protect the apolitical, nonpartisan delivery of government services at a critical time in our nation’s history. Despite calls from coalitions with broad support across the political aisle, Congress failed to include a provision in their omnibus spending bill that would prevent the Executive Branch from using funds to implement the president’s executive order creating a Schedule F in the federal workforce.


“Congress funded significant coronavirus related aid and relief in this legislation, however, the creation of Schedule F negatively impacts how the services funded will be delivered. Rather than allowing these plans to be carried out by federal employees with significant expertise in their field, under the schedule F executive order, the delivery of government services is subject to partisan influence. Employees executing our nation’s largest vaccination effort in history can be chosen and removed based on political affiliation rather than merit. This pandemic has been politicized at every step. In allowing this executive order to stand, Congress has allowed that politicization to be taken to the next level.


“While the current White House Budget Director has called fears regarding the executive order ‘boogeyman’ claims, 88% of his office’s career staff have already been suggested for conversion into Schedule F. Several former leaders of this office have outlined the danger of converting employees into Schedule F, noting the importance of ensuring career employees are able to provide sound, evidence based advice and institutional memory without fear of reprisal. As the former Office of Management and Budget leaders explain, ‘In this time of extreme partisanship, it is more important than ever that OMB staff continue to provide expert advice and institutional knowledge to political leaders.’ Congress had the opportunity to safeguard federal agencies from even more extreme partisanship and they chose to remain silent.


“Once again, lawmakers waited until the last minute to do their most critical constitutional job- exercise the power of the purse and fund the government. Through this power, Congress provides oversight of the Executive Branch. When lawmakers wait until the last minute to push large, rushed appropriations packages negotiated only through leadership, they come up short in their responsibility to act as a check on the presidency. The appropriations process for Executive Branch agencies is broken and the procrastination approach from Congress is deeply damaging.


“We once again call upon Congress to take decisive action to halt the implementation of the Schedule F Executive Order and reform appropriations processes to meet Congress’ constitutional obligations.”



The Senior Executives Association (SEA) is a professional association representing Senior Executive Service members and other career Federal leaders. Founded in 1980, SEA’s goals are to improve the efficiency, effectiveness, and productivity of the Federal government; to advance the professionalism and advocate the interests of career Federal executives; and to enhance public recognition of their contributions.

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