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Congressman Ken Buck

Representing the 4th District of Colorado

Buck and Lieu’s Burrowing Bill Passes House Unanimously

March 6, 2018
Press Release

For Immediate Release

Contact: Kyle Huwa, 202-225-4676

Washington, D.C. – Today, Reps. Ken Buck (CO-04) and Ted Lieu’s (CA-33) legislation to prevent political burrowing unanimously passed the House of Representatives. H.R. 1132, the Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act, prevents temporary political appointees from converting into permanent civil service positions when their appointing president leaves office. This process, called “burrowing,” undermines merit-based hiring for the civil service, allowing former presidential appointees to use their political connections to land a life-long job in the federal bureaucracy. Political appointees serve in government temporarily to advance the president’s policy agenda within the executive branch. Burrowing allows them to continue advancing that agenda long after their appointing president has left office.

“If we really want to drain the swamp in Washington, then we must end this practice of political burrowing,” Rep. Ken Buck stated. “Political appointees have the privilege of advancing their appointing president’s agenda for a period of time, but when that president leaves, they have a duty to Americans to step aside as well.”

“A hallmark of our democracy is our apolitical civil service. By safeguarding the nonpartisan nature of our government, we can ensure that it continues to work to benefit the American public first and foremost,” stated Rep. Ted Lieu.

The Political Appointee Burrowing Prevention Act prevents political appointees from being hired into the civil service for two years following their departure from a political position. Thereafter, the head of an agency seeking to hire a former political appointee must submit a written request to the Office of Personnel Management to explain why the hiring of the former political appointee is necessary to achieve the agency’s mission.