Trump budget aims to end automatic pay hikes for federal workers, make firings easier


President Trump put underperforming federal workers on notice Monday, including in his $4 trillion budget plan a major overhaul for how hiring and firing is done in the D.C. bureaucracy.

Following on Trump’s campaign promise to “drain the swamp,” the plan calls for several big changes. This includes ending automatic pay hikes that kick in “irrespective of performance,” changing retirement benefits and making it easier to fire bad employees and reward good ones.

“The workforce and the workplace have evolved in recent decades. But the Government personnel system remains a relic of an earlier era. Federal workers themselves overwhelmingly agree in surveys that the existing system fails to reward the best performers or appropriately deal with the worst performers,” a White House budget fact sheet reads, describing the plan as bringing the government in line with private-sector practices.

Trump previewed the plan in his first State of the Union address last month. During the speech, the president called on Congress to “empower every Cabinet Secretary with the authority to reward good workers and to remove federal employees who undermine the public trust or fail the American people.” – READ MORE

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President Trump is calling to pump $1.5 trillion into fixing America’s infrastructure while streamlining the often-cumbersome permitting process, as part of a $4 trillion-plus budget plan unveiled Monday.

“Washington will no longer be a roadblock to progress. Washington will now be your partner,” Trump said at a meeting with state and local officials at the White House.

Unlike last year’s plan, the fiscal 2019 blueprint does not seek to balance the budget over the next decade. Combined with a newly passed spending deal and sweeping tax cuts, the budget would see the federal deficit once again rising past $1 trillion in the near-term.

Under the plan, $200 billion of the $1.5 trillion in proposed spending would be federal dollars, which a senior administration official said would come from “reductions in other areas of the budget.” The plan calls on state and local governments and the private sector to put up most of the funding. The federal funding would be used to match local spending, provide “incentives” and expand loan programs.

The plan also would boost investment for projects in rural America — including transportation, broadband, water, waste, power, flood management and ports — by $50 billion in a bid to address criticism from some Republican senators that the Trump administration’s initial emphasis on public-private partnerships would do little to help those areas. – READ MORE

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