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Bullet policy · Nov 17, 2020

Joint Letter Supporting Legislation to Reverse Executive Order on Schedule F

The Honorable Steny Hoyer
Majority Leader
U.S. House of Representatives
1705 Longworth House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Gerald E. Connolly
U.S. House of Representatives
2238 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

The Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney
U.S. House of Representatives
2308 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20515

November 11, 2020

Dear Majority Leader Hoyer and Representatives Connolly and Maloney:

The 16 undersigned organizations, as part of the scientific community, would like to thank you for introducing the “Saving the Civil Service Act” to reverse the recent “Executive Order on Creating Schedule F in the Excepted Service” that would create a new classification of “Schedule F” employees serving in “confidential, policy-determining, policy-making, or policy-advocating positions” and deprive these employees of their civil service protections.

While the White House has said that this directive will give federal agencies more flexibility to remove “Schedule F” employees from their roles for poor performance, we are deeply concerned that the Executive Order could result in career professionals—including critical scientists and public health professionals—being stripped from their positions for political reasons, resulting in the loss of critical institutional knowledge and expertise. Part of the value of career civil service professionals to the American public is their neutrality and irrefutable dedication to their work; they remain in their positions from administration to administration, regardless of political party. The new Executive Order has the potential to shift the workforce from one that is based on merit to one that is focused, above all, on loyalty to an administration. Such a shift would have real-world implications for America’s leadership in research and innovation and for Americans’ collective health, well-being, and security.

We believe that legislation like the “Saving the Civil Service Act” to reverse this Executive Order is a critical and necessary step to protecting the integrity of our federal agencies and shielding exemplary public service professionals from politics.

Thank you again for your efforts to maintain good government. Please do not hesitate to reach out if any of our groups can be of assistance.

If you have questions or need any additional information, please contact Christopher Fox (cfox@aadr.org) or Lindsey Horan (lhoran@aadr.org) at the American Association for Dental Research.

Sincerely,

American Association for Dental Research
American Association of Immunologists
American Geophysical Union
American Institute of Biological Sciences
American Meteorological Society
American Physiological Society
Association for Psychological Science
Association of Population Centers
Consortium of Social Science Associations
Ecological Society of America
Entomological Society of America
Geological Society of America
Natural Science Collections Alliance
Population Association of America
Research!America
The Gerontological Society of America