President Donald TrumpDonald TrumpTexas Dem targets Sen. Ted Cruz in 2018 Overnight Finance: Senate Dems call for investigation of acting SEC chairman | Wyden: Russia probe should focus on Trump financial ties | Dems seek more money for IRS Budowsky: Putin’s KGB super PAC 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 PenceNY Times fires back at Trump: 'We did not apologize’ How the GOP’s ‘Access to Care’ bill cuts down states’ rights Christie to take on role in Trump's fight against opioids: report MORE, Chief of Staff Reince Priebus, chief strategist Steve Bannon and other top aides looked on.
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 ObamaOvernight Tech: FCC chief gives states more control over internet subsidies | Dems urge Trump to veto bill blocking online privacy rules | House boosts its mobile security Overnight Defense: Pentagon considers more troops for Afghanistan | McCain, Graham won't back short-term funding | GOP defends Trump rules of engagement Paul Ryan sells out conservatives with healthcare surrender 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.