Rachel Greszler, a research fellow at the Heritage Foundation, which supports the order, says it’s “a common sense change” to address a lack of accountability in the federal government.
“I’ve talked to managers in the past who say that they want to do the right thing and they want to hold workers accountable,” says Greszler. “They want to get rid of the bad apples who are weighing others down and preventing the agency from carrying out its mission. But ultimately, the managers said they often gave up because they had to spend so much time and so much effort that … it just wasn’t worth it. They determined it was better to just keep these people on the payrolls and shift their job responsibilities to others. And that’s a big problem.”
But public employee unions say it’s Trump’s order that’s the problem. They’ve said it could have a chilling effect on the more than 2 million people who make up the federal workforce — most of whom are not political appointees.