During his term in office, Trump was in a continuous battle with what is referred to as the “Swamp.” And what is the Swamp other than the entrenched bureaucracy? Most members of the bureaucracy are regular civil servants doing a myriad of necessary jobs among the scores of Federal Departments. Others are long-serving specialists that have an intimate knowledge of internal departmental politics and how to get things done. Finally, there are the political appointees who are brought in by the incoming administration and given the responsibility of riding herd over the various agencies.
It is the long-serving specialists that caused Trump most of his problems. They sometimes proved to be committed progressive ideologues with their own agendas, and they frequently undercut or sabotaged his initiatives. Fighting with them was like battling the mythical Hydra. Cut off one head, and others will appear.
Late in his term, only 13 days before the 2020 election, Trump came up with a plan to deal with the bureaucracy. He signed an executive order establishing a new employment category for certain Federal employees. Under this plan, thousands of civil servants serving in positions deemed to have influence over “policy” would be reassigned as “Schedule F” employees. Schedule F employees would not have the employment protections guaranteed to most civil servants, and they could lose their jobs should it be determined that they are obstructing the administration’s programs. There are more than 2.5 million Federal employees. Perhaps as many as 50,000 could be reclassified as Schedule F.
This reclassification would have an immediate chilling effect on these high-level bureaucrats as they became aware of their vulnerability A few select firings would make them very reluctant to slow-walk or sabotage administration programs unless there was a compelling reason for them to do so.
Biden rescinded this executive order soon after taking office. Trump has indicated that he will reimpose it if reelected.