All the times the bureaucrats slow down the President’s agenda are deep state successes.
The deep state successes may not be noticeable, but they add up to quicksand for the Trump agenda as the eight years on his presidency slip away into the past. In addition to media opposition and congressional opposition, federal agencies that are supposed to be part of the executive branch are occupied largely by anti-Trump staff. They are effectively an autonomous branch of government.
“When a land transgresses, it has many rulers, but with a man of understanding and knowledge, its stability will long continue” (Proverbs 28:2; ESV).
Bloomberg Politics reports, “Washington Bureaucrats Are Quietly Working to Undermine Trump’s Agenda.”
In report after report following Donald Trump’s election, career staffers at the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration kept saying the same thing: climate change is real, serious and man-made.
That’s surprising because Trump has called global warming a hoax. His political appointees at the Commerce Department, which oversees NOAA, have complained to its staff, but stopped short of demanding changes or altering the findings. So the reports, blog posts and public updates kept flowing. The bureaucrats won.
“Everything coming out of NOAA does not reflect this administration,” said David Schnare, a retired lawyer for an industry-backed think tank who served on Trump’s transition team and is skeptical about climate change. “It reflects the last one.”
That’s true across the government as some of the roughly two million career staff have found ways to obstruct, slow down or simply ignore their new leader, the president.
Staff at the Securities and Exchange Commission, for example, issued a report contradicting the White House’s position about the negative effects of banking regulations. The State Department’s embassy staff preserved Obama-era programs to boost the economies of developing countries — at odds with Trump’s “America First” campaign pledges — not by changing the substance of the programs but merely by relabeling them as a way to create markets for U.S. exports.
Perhaps no policy area better illustrates the dynamic than climate change. A report commissioned by the energy secretary to explore the dangers of wind and solar energy to the power grid initially found just the opposite. Pentagon staffers effectively stalled a Trump reversal of an Obama policy on climate change and national security by initiating a review that’s apparently still underway nine months later. Federal procurement officials have kept promoting zero-emission vehicles but by focusing on economic gains rather than environmental benefits.
The story mentions problems that hurt Trump, like Congress delaying key appointments.
But even that wouldn’t fully tame the “permanent government” layer of bureaucrats who stay on from president to president, burrowed deep in agencies across Washington.
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