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‘Drain the swamp’? Federal workers worried about Trump plan

by Susan Jones, CNSnews:

Melissa Baumann lives some 850 miles from the nation’s capital, but when she hears President-elect Donald Trump and his supporters say they will “drain the swamp,” she worries she will be sucked down into the muck.

Baumann, a chemist with the Forest Service, is one of the nation’s 4 million or so federal workers and is watching anxiously as Trump looks to set his agenda in motion.

In terms of policy, Trump has suggested a federal hiring freeze and hinted at eliminating or sharply curtailing an entire Cabinet agency, the Department of Education.

In terms of rhetoric, he targeted the federal bureaucracy and regulations. And then there’s his “drain the swamp” catchphrase.

Trump’s allies say that was directed at lobbyists, donors and political cronies. Some federal workers fear he means a broader group.

“I believe that is directed at us. And it’s misdirected,” said Baumann, who lives in Madison, Wisconsin, where she also serves as a union officer for the Forest Service. The problems in Washington “have nothing to do with the people outside the Beltway” who are doing honorable work under difficult circumstances, she said.

Like most federal workers, Baumann works far from D.C., where less than 10 percent of the federal workforce is stationed, government data show. Maryland and Virginia are large federal employment centers, but so are California, Florida, Texas and Georgia.

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