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Wrote this piece in @thehill w former DOJ & Treasury colleague Edgar Chen: “The President Owes Our Nation’s Civil Servants Far More Than Missed Paychecks,” particularly the fed workers who’ve risked their lives such as law enforcement officers & veterans. thehill.com/opinion/white-…
The fiscal calamity visited upon our federal civilian workforce provides but a mere glimpse of their real sacrifice and contribution to this nation. There is no better testament to their valor than the over 3,000 federal civilian employees who have given their lives to their /2
country in the line of duty since 1992. Many of these fallen heroes served in federal law enforcement with the FBI, DEA, ATF, with ICE, the Border Patrol and other agencies, or as federal corrections officers. This figure also includes those federal employees targeted in the /3
Oklahoma City federal building bombing or at the Washington Navy Yard, Forest Service firefighters battling backcountry blazes, fearless astronauts aboard the doomed Space Shuttle Columbia and foreign service officers killed in East Africa, Afghanistan and elsewhere. It /4
likewise would be remiss to ignore that nearly one third of the current federal workforce is comprised of veterans. Those veterans valiantly served their country as the ribbon-decorated, uniformed warfighters that the president (who has stated he likes his generals right /5
“out of central casting”) professes to respect and revere. Those veterans continue to serve, but have traded in their fatigues for civilian clothes. Out of uniform these patriots were held hostage by the commander-in-chief of a country they fought at all costs to defend. /6
The shutdown persisted while the military was fully funded (and given a raise) in part because the president perceives the military as his voters. He admitted as much in front of a wall honoring fallen CIA heroes in 2017: “the military gave us tremendous percentages of votes” /7
The president has created a hierarchy of perceived patriotism, casting our federal civilian workforce as second class citizens not worthy of the respect he affords the military — apparently because of crass partisan politics. Denigrating the civilian workforce dishonors not /8
only financial sacrifice of the hundreds of thousands of civil servants recently furloughed. This includes those thousands of veterans who once risked all for their country and continue to serve. It also includes the blood shed by the more than 3,000 civil servants who gave /9
their last full measure of devotion for this nation. No one ever asked those fallen heroes how they voted. /END
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