Liberals Back Proposed Rule to Fortify Career Bureaucrats Against a Change in the White House

by Robert Schmad


Liberal advocacy organizations are throwing support behind a proposed federal rule that would make firing bureaucrats more difficult amid polling suggesting that former President Donald Trump may win November’s presidential election.

The proposed Office of Personnel Management (OPM) rule would make it more difficult for civil servants to be reclassified as Schedule F employees, who can be fired at will by the president, according to the federal register. Liberal organizations like Democracy Forward and Protect Democracy, which are involved in efforts to obstruct a potential second Trump term, have voiced support for the rule.

Some conservative organizations have expressed opposition to the proposed rule, citing the necessity to root out political bias in the federal bureaucracy.

“The federal workforce has ideologically polarized, and this rulemaking would impede the ability of presidents whose views differ from the bureaucracy’s to implement their agendas,” the America First Policy Institute argued in a letter to OPM.

DCNF-logoLiberal organizations, however, support the rule change to guard against Trump replacing federal employees with “partisan loyalists,” among other things.

Protect Democracy, which is composed of the 501(c)(3) Protect Democracy Project and the 501(c)(4) United to Protect Democracy, called the rule an effort to “strengthen a critical part of our democracy.”

“It would help protect the basic employment rights of federal civil servants who swear an oath not to the person of the president, but to the Constitution and laws of the United States,” according to Protect Democracy.

Democracy Forward released a letter representing a coalition of 27 organizations backing the rule change, claiming it would “ensure that the American people are served by highly-qualified, experienced, and dedicated civil servants.”

Democracy Forward argued that the “extreme breadth and seriousness of the Trump administration’s legal and ethical lapses should make our country wary of giving Presidential appointees even more unchecked power.”

Organizations joining Democracy Forward in supporting the rule change include liberal groups like the Brennan Center for Justice, League of Conservation Voters and Center for Progressive Reform, among others.

Democracy Forward, similar to Protect Democracy, is composed of both a 501(c)(3) and a 501(c)(4) organization.

The Soros-backed Center for American Progress and its affiliated action fund also backed the rule change.

“The OPM rule is an important step in preventing the government workforce from becoming subject to a patronage system that rewards loyalty and partisanship over professional merit,” a spokesperson for the action fund told the Daily Caller News Foundation.

George Soros’ various philanthropic arms poured millions into the Center for American Progress and the Center for American Progress Action Fund between 2016 and 2022, according to a grant database.

Many of the organizations supporting the rule change have received backing from major left-wing donors.

Democracy Forward Foundation received $200,000 from Pierre Omidyar’s Democracy Fund in 2022.

Omidyar is a primary funder and founder of Democracy Fund, a foundation that backs various liberal organizations, according to tax forms. He also funded efforts in the past to oppose Trump and fight Elon Musk’s acquisition of Twitter.

Democracy Forward has also counted high-level Democratic operatives on its board, including individuals like 2016 Hillary Clinton campaign chair John Podesta, prolific Democratic lawyer Mark Elias and former Biden chief of staff Ron Klain, according to the organization’s website.

Omidyar is backing other organizations supporting the effort to entrench bureaucrats.

The Protect Democracy Project, the 501(c)(3) arm of Protect Democracy, received $3.8 million from Democracy Fund since 2017tax documents show.

The organization also received half a million from the Heising-Simons Foundation, a charity run by Democratic megadonors, 2022 tax forms show. It also got hundreds of thousands of dollars since 2020 from Arabella Advisors’ Democrat-aligned dark money network, according to tax documents.

Protect Democracy also received over $1.7 million from Soros’ philanthropic network between 2017 and 2021, according to a grant database.

These groups have been involved in other operations aimed at weakening a possible Trump administration.

Protect Democracy and Democracy Forward both count themselves as part of a loose coalition of groups preemptively drawing up lawsuits to block Trump from taking certain actions if elected.

Democracy Forward and the Center for American Progress, meanwhile, are part of an alliance of organizations pressuring the Supreme Court not to take power away from the administrative state.

Trump has reportedly discussed plans to reshape the federal bureaucracy should he win reelection, which has stoked concern among the liberal organizations supporting the OPM rule change.

The former president said he would seek to root out the “corrupt bureaucrats who have weaponized our justice system” as well as “corrupt actors in our national security and intelligence apparatus,” The Associated Press reported.

Trump could convert as many as 50,000 civil servants into political appointees if elected, allowing him to fire them at will, Politico reported.

Trump allies have shrugged off the attempt by OPM to safeguard bureaucrats, arguing that they could use the same rulemaking process to reverse the proposed rule, a sentiment legal experts agree with, according to The New York Times.

Many civil servants working in the Trump administration deliberately undermined the former president’s orders and goals, according to Miles Taylor, who served as chief of staff in the Department of Homeland Security from 2017 to 2019. A book authored by journalist Bob Woodward recounts a similar dynamic in the Trump administration.

Intelligence officials claimed in the lead-up to the 2020 election that Russians had been placing bounties on American troops stationed in Afghanistan, only to walk back the claim once President Joe Biden took office. Trump’s immigration agenda was also opposed from within his administration, CBS News reported.

Left-of-center organizations are working to construct roadblocks for a possible future Trump administration as polling shows the former president leading Biden in both key swing states and, occasionally, in the popular vote.

Trump leads Biden in Arizona, Florida, Georgia, Michigan, North Carolina and Pennsylvania, according to a Redfield & Wilton Strategies poll released on Jan. 8. These six states are widely considered crucial to deciding which party will control the White House in 2025.

Trump is also polling above Biden nationally in some recent polls, according to FiveThirtyEight.

– – –

Robert Schmad is a reporter at Daily Caller News Foundation.



Content created by The Daily Caller News Foundation is available without charge to any eligible news publisher that can provide a large audience. For licensing opportunities of our original content, please contact

Related posts