Trump imposes freeze on federal hiring

President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpU.S. war ship nears Chinese island in first navigation challenge under Trump: report Poll: Americans disagree with Comey firing Thousands protested Trump visit in Belgium MORE has signed an executive order freezing all federal government hiring except for the military, making good on a promise from his campaign. 

The new president issued the order alongside two others on Monday morning — one to ban international organizations from using American dollars if they provide or promote abortions and another withdrawing from the Trans-Pacific Partnership. 

He signed the orders just before noon in the Oval Office as Vice President Mike PenceMike (Michael) Richard PenceSelf-proclaimed EU ambassador candidate was never considered: report McConnell: CBO analysis for House bill will repeat 'things we already know' Trump, Clinton campaign aides launch their own bids MORE, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and other top aides looked on. 

ADVERTISEMENT
As Priebus presented him with the document, Trump interrupted to make clear that the freeze exempted the military. He made no further comment about the new directive. 

The order directs that no vacant positions can be filled, or new positions created, unless an agency head deems the position "necessary to meet national security or public safety responsibilities," according to text of the order released shortly before 5 p.m.

But this freeze does not apply to Trump's impending nomination and executive appointments, as he is still filling out his administration. 

The freeze will allegedly end once the Office of Management and Budget creates a "long-term plan to reduce the size of the Federal Government's workforce through attrition." 

White House press secretary Sean Spicer shed further light on the plan at a press conference Monday, claiming that it "counters the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce in recent years."

"It prevents filling vacant positions and creating new positions except when necessary to meet national or public security responsibility," he told reporters.

"It ensures the American taxpayers get effective and efficient government."

Trump's call for a hiring freeze dates back to an October speech in Gettysburg, Penn. as part of his “Contract with the American Voter.”

During that speech, he promised a “hiring freeze on all federal employees to reduce the federal work force through attrition,” but noted that there would be an exemption for military, public safety and public health jobs. 

It appears as though those could fit into the new order's "national security or public safety" exemptions. 

While Congressional Republicans called on President Barack ObamaBarack ObamaU.S. war ship nears Chinese island in first navigation challenge under Trump: report Vicente Fox to Trump: You’re president for ‘the wrong reason’ Mnuchin asks Congress for clean debt hike before August MORE to institute a federal hiring freeze on various occasions, he signed a freeze only on federal salary increases in 2010.

And President George W. Bush imposed a hiring freeze soon after he took office in 2001, but only in agencies where he had not yet appointed a head.

Both Presidents Ronald Reagan and Jimmy Carter also instituted various hiring freezes during their time in office.

--This report was updated at 5:08 p.m.