Khanna presses Project 2025 author over potential Trump purge of civil servants

Rep. Ro Khanna (D-Calif.) pressed the co-author of the “Project 2025” handbook over former President Trump’s potential plans to reinstate an executive order that would allow him to easily fire thousands of civil servants.

Khanna questioned Jonathan Berry, a co-author of the handbook, during a House Oversight and Accountability Committee hearing Thursday titled, “Ending Illegal Racial Discrimination and Protecting Men and Women in U.S. Employment Practices.” The Heritage Foundation’s “Project 2025” outlines a series of policies and initiatives conservatives hope to put forward in a new administration.

Specifically, Khanna asked Berry whether he supports the “Schedule F” policy, which would reclassify thousands of workers so that they could be subject to swifter firing. Berry noted that while he was not responsible for writing the section that discussed that policy, he does support the initiative.

“Under this scenario, if for example President Trump returns to office, he would be able to fire about 50,000 people who are currently civil servants and bring in people who are more consistent with his ideology, and you’re recommending this as a policy, correct?” Khanna asked.

“Yes. Having more political accountability is a very good thing,” Berry replied.

Trump rolled out this executive order regarding Schedule F in 2020, but President Biden revoked that order after he took office. The Biden administration unveiled a new rule earlier this year that would make it more difficult for Trump to fire federal workers if reelected.

Khanna continued to press Berry about his support of the Trump-era policy, even though it could result in thousands of civil servants losing their jobs. Berry said at one point that “political policy responsiveness is appropriate when it comes to any employee who touches on public policy” when asked if he supported it.

“You’re basically saying he should have the ability to fire up to 50,000 people if they’re not doing what his ideology is and replace that with people more consistent with his ideology and classify these folks as Schedule F, correct?” Khanna asked again.

“100 percent,” Berry responded.

Trump has signaled that he would try and bring back this policy if he returns to the Oval Office.

“Here’s my plan to dismantle the deep state and reclaim our democracy from Washington corruption once and for all, and corruption it is,” he said in a campaign video last year. “First, I will immediately reissue my 2020 executive order restoring the president’s authority to remove rogue bureaucrats. And I will wield that power very aggressively.”

The Hill has reached out to the Trump campaign for comment.

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