More Senate Democrats join union leaders in opposing Trump workforce orders

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  • Three more Democratic senators have added their voices to a growing list of members on both sides of the aisle, as well as dozens of union leaders, in speaking out against President Donald Trump’s recent executive orders regarding the federal workforce.  Sens. Claire McCaskill (D-Mo.), Heidi Heitkamp (D-N.D.), and Jon Tester (D-Mont.) wrote to the president about their concerns. They said they are willing to work with the executive branch to modernize the federal workforce, but added they felt the orders threaten attempts to build better labor management relationships. (NTEU)
  • The Amereican Federation of Government Employees (AFGE) has filed a second lawsuit challenging the executive orders. The most recent action argued the president overstepped his authority and violated the separation of powers. AFGE was the first federal union to challenge Trump’s executive orders. A federal judge has consolidated that suit with the legal challenges from two dozen other unions, and will hear their arguments next month. (AFGE)
  • The Trump administration said it wants to privatize the U.S. Postal Service, but not before cutting its costs. The proposal, issued as part of the president’s re-organization of government, could bring significant pay and benefits changes for more than 600,000 postal employees. The proposal would restructure the postal system’s business model before transforming it into a privately held corporation. The White House plan for the Postal Service offers a sneak peek into upcoming recommendations expected in August from a postal task force created by the president. (Federal News Radio)
  • Several agency leaders said they have attempted to reassure their employees about the administration’s  reorganization report. The directors of the National Background Investigations Bureau (NBIB) and Defense Security Service (DSS) wrote to their employees about the proposed transfer of the entire security clearance program from the Office of Personnel Management to the Pentagon. They said DSS will absorb NBIB under the plan, but added the timing of the move is unclear.  Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue told his employees he viewed the re-organization proposals as the start of a conversation. (Federal News Radio)
  • The Sierra Club has demanded the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) search EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt’s personal email accounts for work-related emails, or certify Pruitt has never used personal email for work purposes. The Sierra Club said Pruitt has only released one email, following a court order that required EPA to release all of his external communications.  (Sierra Club)
  • The Defense Department (DoD) said it is making plans to construct temporary migrant camps on two of its bases. It said the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) had examined sites on four bases in Texas and Arkansas, but Defense Secretary James Mattis told reporters the two agencies have now reached an agreement to use two of those bases to house unaccompanied migrant children. Mattis did not specify which bases. Earlier, HHS had asked the Pentagon for enough space to accommodate up to 20-thousand people through the end of the year. (Federal News Radio )
  • President Donald Trump has nominated an inspector general for the Departmnent of Housing and Urban Development (HUD). Rae Oliver Davis currently serves as acting assistant inspector general for the Office of Special Inquiry. Oliver Davis is a 10-year veteran of the inspector general community. Before joining HUD’s OIG, she served in the office of general counsel for the U.S. Postal Service’s OIG. (White House)
  • The White House also announced the president has chosen Lt. Gen. Gary Thomas as his nominee to become the service’s next assistant commandant. Thomas currently serves as the deputy commandant for programs and resources at Marine Corps headquarters in Washington, D.C. Thomas would take over for Gen. Glenn Walters, who is retiring.  (Marine Corps)
  • Retired Vice Adm. Joseph McGuire has been nominated to take over as director of the National Counter-Terrorism Center (NCTC). President Donald Trump’s choice to head the agency spent 36 years in the Naval Special Warfare Command and served as the Deputy Director for strategic operational planning at the NCTC. Director of National Intelligence (DNI) Dan Coates praised the nomination, calling Maguire “distinguished” and “experienced”. (DNI)
  • NASA has announced the retirement of Jerry Davis, the chief information officer at NASA’s Ames Research Center. Davis will take a deferred retirement after 20 years in government. Davis said he will remain in the San Francisco area, but didn’t say what he will do next other than work in support of the science behind Moore’s Law. During his career, Davis spent time at the department of Education and Veterans Affairs, as well as the CIA and the Marines. (Federal News Radio Advisory)