McCain to Tillerson: Stop hiring freeze at State Dept
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Sen. John McCainJohn Sidney McCainTrump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Schiff: I thought more Republicans would speak out against Trump Trump presses GOP to change Senate rules MORE (R-Ariz.) urged Secretary of State Rex TillersonRex Wayne TillersonTrump uses Nowruz to hit Iranian regime Trump informally offered Cohn CIA job before changing his mind: report Trump is not the first president to fire Cabinet officials to bury news MORE on Wednesday to end his hiring freeze in the State Department, citing concerns that a depletion of foreign service officers could harm U.S. diplomatic efforts. 

McCain and Sen. Jeanne ShaheenCynthia (Jeanne) Jeanne ShaheenCompanies fretting over ‘foreign agents’ label Senators demand cyber deterrence strategy from Trump Overnight Cybersecurity: Dems ask voting machine vendors if they shared code with Russia | Senate panel advances bill reorganizing DHS cyber office | FBI chief talks new digital threats MORE (D-N.H.) wrote a joint letter to Tillerson taking issue with the department's "failure to replace losses" in its ranks "due to attrition and resignations," that they said appeared as if intentionally aimed at reducing the department's staff size. 

"We know from experience that shutting off the intake of entry-level Foreign Service officers will inevitably result in shortages of appropriately experienced personnel at specific grades in future years," the senators wrote. 


The senators demanded that the State Department lift the freeze, refrain from imposing any further measures aimed at reducing staffing levels and promote high-performing officers to retain talent in the department. 

McCain and Shaheen cited the drastic numbers of departures from the department and falling numbers of entry-level applicants, which they said were the product of "questionable management practices" and a "lack of experienced leadership." 

Tillerson in April decided to maintain the hiring freeze even as other federal agencies lift their freeze. 

Trump had signed an executive order on his first full work day in the White House that temporarily halted all nonmilitary federal hiring, an attempt to fulfill his campaign promise to “drain the swamp” and reduce the size of government.