President TrumpDonald TrumpGraham says he hopes that Trump runs again Trump says Stacey Abrams 'might be better than existing governor' Kemp Executive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump MORE has abandoned his plan to dissolve the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), backtracking on a campaign promise to shrink the government, The Washington Post reported Wednesday.
The office, which employs 5,500 people and manages human resources for the 2.1 million-person civilian workforce, will not at this point be divided among the White House and the General Services Administration.
This follows an 18-month effort by an Office of Management and Budget official to get rid of OPM, which has existed since 1978. Officials and lawmakers said the resulting plan was not concrete and not likely to save money. A defense authorization bill expected to be voted on Wednesday will move the matter to an independent study committee, the Post reported.
The president reportedly decided against moving forward with the plan after watching a television program on government and told other White House officials the next day. Acting chief of staff Mick MulvaneyMick MulvaneyHeadhunters having hard time finding jobs for former Trump officials: report Trump holdovers are denying Social Security benefits to the hardest working Americans Mulvaney calls Trump's comments on Capitol riot 'manifestly false' MORE, acting budget director Russell Vought and Margaret Weichert, a White House official pushing for the OPM elimination, attempted to persuade the president, but it did not work, according to The Post.
“The president has been very clear that the reforms to make government more efficient shouldn’t have a negative implication for federal workers in that agency,” Rep. Mark MeadowsMark MeadowsExecutive privilege fight poses hurdles for Trump Biden does not plan to shield Trump docs in Jan. 6 probe The Hill's Morning Report - Presented by Alibaba - Democrats argue price before policy amid scramble MORE (R-N.C.) told The Post.
Rep. Gerry ConnollyGerald (Gerry) Edward ConnollyHow lawmakers aided the Afghan evacuation Overnight Defense & National Security — Congress begins Afghanistan grilling Connolly rips Wilson over 'you lie' during Blinken hearing MORE (D-Va.), the chairman of the House Oversight and Reform Committee’s panel on government operations, said the White House did not explain the rationale behind why the plan was needed.
“For once, Trump’s political instincts are better than Mulvaney’s,” he told the Post.
Rachel Semmel, an OMB Spokeswoman, said in a statement to The Hill that the administration "remains committed to reforms."
“This Administration remains committed to reforms – including organizational improvements – that will increase the service and stewardship of the Government for the American people," the statement reads. "Given the magnitude of the many policy wins included in the NDAA, we welcome a study to bring more voices to this important conversation.”
The president moved forward the initial plan to dissolve the first federal department to be dissolved since World War II in April.