The National Treasury Employees Union is the first union out of the gate responding to the GOP’s promise to freeze non-security federal hiring if they retake one or both houses of Congress. NTEU President Colleen Kelley just released a statement that said the freeze would “result in less effective, less efficient services being provided to the public.”
Even under a hiring freeze the work of the federal government would still have to be done, as the American public expects. But without sufficient staffing, federal agencies would be forced to turn to unaccountable and costly private contractors.
This would return our country to the policies of the previous administration which encouraged unaccountable contracting including the use of no-bid, sole source and cost plus agreements. The effort to move federal work out of the hands of federal employees resulted in higher costs to taxpayers, poor services and questionable transactions.
The Republicans’ proposal would not halt all hiring, however. A spokeswoman for Rep. Jason Chaffetz, R-Utah, said that agencies under the freeze could hire to replace attrition, as long as there is no net increase in the size of the workforce.