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Press Release | January 27, 2021

Revolving Door Project: Biden Must Use Available Tools to Grow Civil Service Quickly

Government Capacity
Revolving Door Project: Biden Must Use Available Tools to Grow Civil Service Quickly

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Contact: Eleanor Eagan, eagan@therevolvingdoorproject.org, (802) 922 – 5943

Last week, Joe Biden assumed the presidency amid multiple, overlapping, short- and long-term crises. The list of priorities for the new administration is long and fights over the relative emphasis placed on each are surely incoming. To sidestep these ugly battles and ensure that his administration rises to meet each of these pressing crises, President Joe Biden must use all available powers to rebuild the federal government’s capacity to act in the public interest. The Revolving Door Project’s latest memo, “Rapid Reinforcements: A Guide to Federal Hiring Authorities,” enumerates the authorities that a Biden administration can and should use to scale up civil service capacity quickly. 

The crises President Joe Biden faces are historically challenging and the institutions through which he must work to address them are tragically weak. Decades of neglect followed by four years of open warfare against government capacity under President Trump cannot be ignored. Distributing the vaccine in record time, keeping frontline workers safe, reducing pollution, scaling up green infrastructure — all of these priorities and more will depend on the federal government having a sufficient number of people in place to make it happen. As it stands, we are far from that reality. 

Making progress toward that distant goal must be an urgent priority for the Biden administration. That means clearing as many of the administrative obstacles to government hiring as possible while maintaining the process’ integrity. Key, tested hiring authorities already on the books give the administration significant leeway to do so. As the country stares down a new strain of the virus and a deepening economic crisis, this moment demands that Biden use them.

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“empty chairs” by philomglol is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 2.0

Government Capacity
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