This week, Senator Rick Scott (R-FL), Chair of the National Republican Senatorial Committee, released his policy agenda for Republicans to enact should they win Senate and House majorities this fall. While Senator Scott said his agenda is separate from his work chairing the party’s campaign arm, he also said that it’s “important to tell people what we’re [going to] do.” Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-KY) has declined to release a GOP agenda heading into the midterms. According to media reports, House Minority Leader Kevin McCarthy (R-CA) plans to release his own agenda in the coming weeks.
A major portion of Senator Scott’s “Rescue America” plan centers on radically reducing the size of the federal government. This includes: capping all federal employee pay at five times the median individual income in the U.S. (approximately $179,000 in 2020); slashing the federal government by reducing the entire government workforce by 25 percent over five years; setting 12-year term limits on all “government bureaucrats,” with exceptions only when required by national security interests; forcing most federal agencies out of Washington, D.C. and selling off government buildings, lands and assets; and letting the private sector take over many activities currently performed by federal workers, other than “essential core functions."
These extreme proposals would drastically remodel the federal workforce. It would reduce the multitude of services provided to the American public, impacting customer service and the ability of agencies to deliver results. It would outsource critical government services to the lowest bidder. In this race to the bottom, the proposals would hamper the ability of agencies like the SEC to recruit and retain skilled employees by limiting their ability to compete with the private sector on pay, forcing many employees to move and uproot their families or lose their job, and requiring thousands of employees to leave their jobs after 12 years, eliminating institutional knowledge. Moreover, those who are exempt from the 12-year limit because of a “national security interest” would likely end up losing their collective bargaining rights based on this designation under current law.
We have all seen how underfunded and understaffed agencies impact the ability of agencies to meet their missions. If these dangerous proposals were to become law, they would drastically weaken the federal government’s ability to provide vital resources and services to the American people as well as further demoralizing a workforce that has worked overtime during the pandemic to meet our nation’s needs.