Trump picks new federal personnel director

Trump picks new federal personnel director
© Greg Nash

President TrumpDonald John TrumpHouse panel approves 0.5B defense policy bill House panel votes against curtailing Insurrection Act powers after heated debate House panel votes to constrain Afghan drawdown, ask for assessment on 'incentives' to attack US troops MORE will nominate Dale Cabaniss, a longtime Republican official in Washington, as director of federal personnel, the White House announced on Monday.

Cabaniss will replace Jeff Pon, who was ousted by Trump last October after just seven months on the job amid a dispute over the Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM) powers.

Margaret Weichert, a senior official in the White House budget office, had been running OPM in an acting capacity.  

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Cabaniss served as chairwoman of the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees collective bargaining and disputes between agencies and workers, under former President George W. Bush and has worked on civil service issues for two decades on the Senate Appropriations and Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs committees.

Pon, a business executive, tendered his resignation at the behest of the Trump administration over tensions sparked by proposed civil service reforms that would have curtailed OPM’s powers or handed some of its functions to other agencies.

In an interview with The Washington Post at the time, Weichert said the decision was in line with Trump’s “management agenda.”

OPM is an independent agency tasked with overseeing the federal workforce. It became the object of heavy scrutiny in 2015 after a data breach exposed the personal data of roughly 21.5 million federal employees and other people who underwent background checks for security clearances.

Cabaniss must be confirmed by the Senate before she can assume her new job.