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Administration to issue layoffs, furloughs if Congress doesn't close OPM

According to an internal briefing obtained by the Washington Post, the Trump administration intends to furlough and possibly lay off 150 employees from the Office of Personnel Management on Oct. 1 if Congress refuses to axe the department entirely.

The backdrop: Administration officials characterize OPM as financially distressed, demanding a Congressional commitment to dissolve the agency by June 30 — or else face staff cuts.

The big picture: The administration argued in its original proposal to dismantle the department that it did not plan to lay off any of the 5,565 employees; but instead to reallocate them to three different departments and shrink through retirements and unfilled vacancies. The agency manages the civilian federal workforce, with responsibilities including background checks for government job applicants and human resource responsibilities like payroll and training.

  • Members of both parties in Congress have signaled they do not intend to dismantle the agency, the Post wrote.

But, but, but: “A report by a federal watchdog this week concluded that killing the agency would hinder, not ease, the long-standing retirement claims backlog,” per the Post.