(National Sentinel)Â Obama Legacy: When then-GOP nominee Donald J. Trump pledged to “drain the swamp” in Washington, he likely knew it would take a lot of time and diligence.
As reported by theÂ Washington Times, a new report found that dozens of Obama appointees remain embedded throughout Trump’s bureaucracy, and they are very likely thwartingÂ his agenda at every turn:
A government watchdog found that 78 political appointees of President Obama managed to â€œburrowâ€ into career government jobs over a six-year period.
A Government Accountability Office report obtained by The Washington Times on Wednesday shows that seven of Mr. Obamaâ€™s political appointees switched to career jobs without obtaining necessary approval from the Office of Personnel Management. Of those, four were later denied the jobs by OPM and three left their posts.
Congressional Republicans warned Mr. Obama last year against moving political appointees into career positions, and President Trump has stated frequently that he believes some employees in the federal workforce are Obama holdovers working against his agenda.
As usual, however, Obama saw GOP threats as hollow and did what he wanted anyway.
As the Times notes, the practice of allowing political appointees toÂ burrow into government career positions is okay when laws and regulations that govern such career appointments are followed. Before Obama, prior administrations converted dozens of political appointees into career government positions.
That said, Sen. John Thune, R-South Dakota, requested the GAO report, in large part, “to make sure Executive Branch employees knew they were being watched for improper burrowing.”
Sen. John Thune, South Dakota Republican, said he requested the GAO report in part â€œto make sure executive branch employees knew they were being watched for improper burrowing.â€
â€œStill, GAO determined that one out of every five attempts to move a political appointee into a career position was rejected as improper,â€ Thune said. â€œWatchdogs need to stay vigilant, and I intend to seek more information about the individuals who may have led improper hiring initiatives.â€
The GAO report found that OPM approved 78 of 99 requests to convert political appointees to career positions from Jan. 1, 2010, through March 17, 2016. OPM denied 21 requests for varying reasons, such as bypassing qualified veterans, and referred nine denied cases to the Office of Special Counsel.
Of the 78 approved requests, agencies followed through and converted 69 political appointees to career positions.
The GAO found that of the OPM-approved requests, rules were followed andÂ agencies â€œappeared to have used appropriate authorities and followed proper procedures in converting political appointees to career positions.â€
But the fact is, Obama — via his appointments — remains throughout the Trump administration.
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