The battle between Congress and the Trump administration over the future of the federal Office of Personnel Management escalated on Wednesday, when House Majority Leader Steny H. Hoyer (D-Md.) again slammed White House plans to dissolve the agency.
Hoyer, who represents a suburban district that is home to tens of thousands of federal employees, was reacting to a report that the agency will furlough — and ultimately fire — 150 OPM workers if Congress doesn’t approve Trump’s plan to break up the agency.
“Reports that the Trump Administration has threatened to lay off civilian federal employees at the Office of Personnel Management if Congress doesn’t eliminate the agency are outrageous,” Hoyer wrote.
“Threatening to fire these hardworking Americans because the Administration isn’t getting its way is shameful.”
Opposition to White House efforts to spread OPM functions among other agencies is bipartisan.
“I want to see how this plan is cheaper for the taxpayer and better for the federal workforce,” Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.) told The Washington Post. “It’s hard to get to a determination of how this makes things better.”
Hoyer said the threatened layoffs are “foolish, petty, and irresponsible.”
“The Trump Administration’s temper tantrum will have real consequences for all Americans and is yet another example of the Administration holding federal employees hostage.”
A spokeswoman for Rep. Andrew P. Harris (R-Md.), the only Republican in Maryland’s congressional delegation, did not immediately respond to a request for comment on Wednesday.
The unions that represent OPM and General Services Administration employees plan to rally next week to protest the administration’s planned actions.