President Donald Trump's federal hiring freeze is being lifted in response to unforeseen consequences, the White House announced on Wednesday.
The hiring freeze — detailed in an executive order the president signed during his first full day in office on January 23 — was part of an effort to "drain the swamp" in Washington. But putting an abrupt end to hiring for all non-military jobs in the government created its own set of burdens, The Hill reported.
At the Veterans Affairs (VA) office, the backlog for benefits claims lengthened. There were more delays to process Social Security claims. The Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and federal prisons across the country reported that they were short-staffed, according to The Hill.
ATTN: previously reported on the negative impact the president's hiring freeze has had on veterans who depend on VA services at facilities — and veterans who were trying to get jobs with the VA. Many of those facilities were already understaffed prior to the executive order.
Still, the Trump administration has rejected the idea that this reversal signals that the executive order was a mistake. Rather, White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney said the administration was simply introducing "a smarter plan, a more strategic plan, a more surgical plan."
He claimed that some federal agencies would be able to hire more employees under the plan, while others would have to cut down their staff by even greater numbers than they would have under the initial hiring freeze.