After extensive reviewing of cutting back on federal agencies, President Trump decided it was best to leave one of them alone. The Office of Personnel Management will go untouched and remain open as the decision was found to be more damaging than helping if it were to shut down. The decision was based both on the political aspect and the job force. Since President Trump became president, he has battled to make the government more efficient by cutting back the excess fat. The General Services Admission and the White House will not parcel The Office of Personnel Management, which oversees the workforce of over 2.1 million civilian employees.
President Trump’s first made the decision to shut down the federal agency, but he was met with skepticism and was shown proof of the damages if the agency closed. Over 5,500 government employees would have been out of a job, and it would not have looked good politically. Other advisors also came up with the numbers showing it would not make much of a difference in saving government funds if the agency stayed open.
The plan to eliminate the agency stayed on life support as both Democrats and Republicans acknowledged the problems within the agency. Both parties amazingly agreed it was best left alone and just fix the problems within its system. President Trump is an excellent businessman and listened to both sides before he made the decision to call off the plan of closing the doors.
There were also other options looked into to split the agency up into different sectors, but both parties found that would serve no benefit to the government or save money. If the agency had shut down, it would have been the largest federal department to close in decades.
So what changed the president’s mind? After weeks of fighting, President Trump watched a program on television called “Government Matters.” It was about programs within the government, and their topic of choice that day was the Office of Personnel Management. There were several segments aired, but that one day was the day meant for President Trump to see the show. He had taken into consideration all angles and called White House officials and top budget officers to meet with him the next day.
In the meeting, Trump told his advisers the plan should be called off for shutting down the Office of Personnel Management due to the poor reviews he would receive when it came to the upcoming election. Officials stated, “Acting chief of staff Mick Mulvaney and acting budget director Russell Vought, along with Margaret Weichert, the White House official leading the effort, tried to persuade Trump to keep going in line with conservative principles of shrinking government.” After the debate, the decision came forth as the president stood firm with a different mindset.
Republican Representative Mark Meadows commented on the new decision. “The president has been very clear that the reforms to make government more efficient shouldn’t have a negative implication for federal workers in that agency. There’s a lot of distrust related to any effort to rearrange, reform, and redirect a federal asset.”
Democratic Representative Gerald E. Connolly, who is the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s subcommittee on government operations, even gave Trump a compliment. He said, “The goal of shrinking government is neither good nor bad, but it has to be tied to something. If the goal is to make government more efficient, they didn’t make a pretense at a rationale. Mulvaney saw this as a point on the scoreboard to say, ‘I abolished a federal agency and the consequences be damned.’ For once, Trump’s political instincts are better than Mulvaney’s.”
A spokeswoman for the OMB, Rachel Semmel, stated, “This Administration remains committed to reforms, including organizational improvements, that will increase the service and stewardship of the government for the American people.” They welcomed the study.
President Trump’s first promise came as a goal for a smaller government. He stated in his 2016 campaign he would “cut so much your head will spin.” The Office of Personnel Management was created in 1978 and was put in the crosshairs under the Trump administration for the reason they felt the OPM was not holding up to its standards in overseeing the coordinating of the hiring policies, civil service, health insurance, retirement benefits, and other policies. Instead of shutting the OPM down, decisions will be made to upgrade the system and weed out the bad seeds.