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Buck and Lieu Introduce Bill to Prevent Burrowing into Federal Civil Service Positions

February 16, 2017
Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kyle Huwa, 202-225-4676

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Ken Buck (CO-04) and Ted Lieu (CA-33), along with Reps. Pete Sessions (TX-32) and Jared Polis (CO-02), introduced the Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act. The process of non-career, political appointees leveraging their appointment into special job protections by converting into high-paying, senior-level civil service positions is called “burrowing.” This legislation establishes a two-year prohibition on certain non-career political appointees accepting a career position in the federal civil service. By restricting the practice of burrowing, the bill ensures that federal civil service hiring standards remain solely merit-based, rather than based on political favors.

“A political appointment is a privilege that carries with it the responsibility of serving your country. Part of serving your country means stepping down at the end of your term of service, and this bill simply enforces that expectation,” said Rep. Ken Buck. “Without this bill as a safeguard, political appointees can embed across our bureaucracy, carrying on the agenda of their appointing president long after voters have chosen a new direction.”

“This bill, which would ensure a cooling off period for political appointees before accepting a position in our civil service, is a simple good-government initiative. It is part of our orderly transfer of power that when an Administration comes to an end, presidential appointees leave the executive branch with the President,” stated Rep. Ted Lieu.