Federal employees step up defiance of Trump

Federal employees step up defiance of Trump
Job-killer. (Shutterstock image)

[Ed. – How much more defiant can they get?]

Government employees are growing increasingly willing to criticize or defy the White House and President Trump’s top appointees.

A handful of current and former career staffers in the Interior Department and Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) have openly shredded their superiors within the last several weeks, continuing a trend that has developed throughout the government over the course of Trump’s tenure in the Oval Office.

The growing opposition in the executive branch comes as the White House’s legislative agenda has stalled in Congress and Trump turns to his Cabinet agencies to change course in several policy areas. It also is emanating from career staffers or political holdovers whose resistance to Trump has, at times, been rooted in deep opposition to the president’s agenda.

“From our point of view, it’s kind of obvious,” said Jeff Ruch, the executive director of Public Employees for Environmental Responsibility (PEER), when asked about staffers’ growing pushback. …

PEER on Tuesday released an open letter from Elizabeth Southerland, a former top water official at the EPA who said she was retiring because of proposed deep budget cuts to the agency and Administrator Scott Pruitt’s deregulatory agenda. She wrote that “the environmental field is suffering from the temporary triumph of myth over truth.”

Her broadside came less than a week after David Schnare, a former 34-year EPA veteran and Trump transition official, hit a Pruitt climate science debate plan as “silly” and said he resigned from his post because of Pruitt’s leadership.

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