Dem proposes exempting veterans from Trump’s hiring freeze

Legislation introduced in the House on Monday would exempt veterans seeking employment from the federal government hiring freeze imposed by President Trump in his first week in office.

Rep. Stephen Lynch’s (D-Mass.) bill would allow federal agencies to hire veterans for newly created positions and for vacant jobs.

“President Trump’s federal hiring freeze not only hurts everyday Americans seeking a prompt response from a federal agency, but also makes it difficult for veterans looking for employment in the federal government across the country. Veterans have earned their hiring preference and I am deeply concerned that the federal hiring freeze will disproportionately hurt America’s veterans,” Lynch said in a statement.

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An executive order Trump signed last month halts the federal government from hiring any new personnel except for the military or if an agency determines a position is needed for national security or public safety. 

The Office of Personnel Management found in a report released last November that veterans made up 30.9 percent of the federal workforce. It also found that federal agencies had hired 6,000 more veterans in fiscal 2015 than in the previous year.

Trump is the first president to order an across-the-board federal hiring freeze since Ronald Reagan. Former President George W. Bush also issued a hiring freeze upon taking office, but it didn’t apply to agencies where he hadn’t yet appointed leaders.

Lynch's bill so far has 21 co-sponsors, none of whom are Republicans.