The Trump administration issued an Executive Order that changes the classification of top civil servants and makes it easier to fire them. The order targets those in policy-making positions. Experts indicate the move would affect anywhere from tens of thousands to hundreds of thousands in a workforce of some 2.1 million. The move would affect many attorneys, public health experts, scientists and regulators. See Stars and Stripes article here. In an administration that disfavors expertise, this new regulations would effectively muzzle many federal experts. This change would also remove these folks from union membership.

The Office of Management and Budget claims the new regulations will make top level civil servants more accountable. But, as someone who represents civil servants, I can say there is ample accountability built into the system, already. As with most private sector jobs, if you write someone up a few times with good, objective written warnings, then  you can terminate any federal worker. That the OMB argues there is a lack of accountability suggests to me they have some other ulterior motive. Or, they simply prefer to fire someone within days, instead of the months necessary to allow that person to improve his/her job performance.

And, given this administration, they may simply be angry with those scientists who keep disagreeing with the President about the coronavirus.

Ronald Sanders, a 30 year long civil servant, resigned from his high level civil servant position over this proposed new regulation. Mr. Sanders was the chair of the Federal Salary Council. Mr. Sanders is certain this new regulation is designed to make top level civil servants political. See The Hill news report.