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Trump Signs Executive Order To Freeze Federal Hiring

| by Ray Brown

President Donald Trump signed an executive order to put a freeze on federal hiring, part of a campaign promise to rein in government spending.

The freeze excludes the military, public safety, and public health positions.

Trump's freeze was the second part of a plan dubbed, “Donald Trump's Contract with the American Voter.” Other items on the list include proposing a constitutional amendment to impose term limits on members of Congress; a five-year ban on White House and Congressional officials from becoming lobbyists; and a complete ban on foreign lobbyists raising money for American elections.

Federal hiring freezes have been enacted by past presidents, including Jimmy Carter, Ronald Reagan, and Bill Clinton.

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But whether or not such actions actually save the government any money is up for debate.

“If incoming President Donald Trump wants to reduce the size of the federal workforce, what he should really do is decide which programs he wants to cut or eliminate," Cato Institute tax policy director Chris Edward told NPR in November 2016.

According to Washington Post columnist Joe Davidson, the Government Accountability Office released a report in 1982 that found hiring freezes have “little effect on Federal employment levels.”

In addition, the report said the freezes “disrupted agency operations, and in some cases, increased costs to the Government.”

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Despite potential pitfalls, Trump is focusing on the federal hiring freeze and a handful of other campaign promises on his first full weekday as commander in chief.

Trump also signed an executive order for the U.S. to withdraw from the negotiation process of the Trans-Pacific Partnership.

The Associated Press reported that Trump called the move "a great thing for the American workers." 

Sources: The Associated Press, The Washington Post, NPR, Donald J. Trump / Photo credit: Gage Skidmore/Flickr

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