In announcing a Trump administration plan for reforming the federal workforce that includes workforce reductions, OMB director Mick Mulvaney confirmed in a press briefing that the administration’s upcoming full budget proposal will include a 1.9 percent federal employee raise for January, adding that “I hope that folks recognize the message that the President tried to send” in providing for a raise.
However, when asked directly, he did not commit to agencies using early retirement and buyout incentives , common tools agencies use to avoid having to conduct RIFs while downsizing – and which many employees have been looking for expectantly.
Said Mulvaney,”There are going to be some places where they have the ability to reduce size immediately and they may be called upon to do that in order to line up with the President’s priorities. There may be other places where they don’t have that flexibility, and they’ll have to figure out a way over the course of time to, through ordinary attrition, to get to where they need to be.”
Nor did Mulvaney specify an expected percentage reduction in the workforce; past Republican proposals, including one he sponsored while a member of the House, called for a 10 percent cut, with the lower number then acting as an employment cap.
“I think it probably goes without saying that, net, we think we can run the government more efficiently than the previous administration can, and we think we can run the government with fewer people than the previous administration had … what the guidance really does is tell them, look to the budget blueprint and fashion your hiring and the paring down of your workforce consistent with the budget,” he said.