Public Service Reform Act is needed to make Washington work

June 7, 2023

Washington Times

Sen. Rick Scott

June 7, 2023

I’ve spent my life leading organizations of every shape and size — from a small doughnut shop to America’s largest health care company and then the great state of Florida.

Here’s what will make or break your success every single time: You have to have good people behind you who are mission-focused. If your team isn’t with you, it doesn’t matter how great your ideas are; you’ll fail. That’s bad for a business, and it’s even worse when it happens in government.

While the vast majority of federal employees are good, hardworking people, it takes only a few with bad intentions to gum up policy and bring projects, and even whole agencies, to a grinding halt. Voters elect people to office because they believe their ideas will make life better and put America on the right path forward. But right now, there’s little that elected leaders can do to stop those who wish to block them from carrying out the vision that the voters elected them to achieve. I’m fighting to change that with the Public Service Reform Act, which would make all executive branch employees at will.

It’s no secret that Washington is broken. We hear people on the campaign trail whine about red tape and bureaucracy constantly, but then they get to D.C. and do nothing to fix it. I think if people delivered on the things they ran on, Congress and the country would work a lot better. Only in Washington would people think that expecting people to do what they said they would is a crazy idea.

When I ran for the Senate in 2018, I promised Florida families that I’d fight every day to make Washington work for them. After the good people of Florida elected me to this job, I got right to work. While I continue to fight for term limits, commonsense legislation like No Budget, No Pay, which would not allow Congress to get paid if they can’t pass a budget (literally, their job), and requiring a supermajority of Congress to approve any new tax hikes, I’m also working to stop bad actors buried in the federal bureaucracy from standing in the way of good policy and pushing their “woke” agendas.

Most people agree that federal government bureaucracy is both inefficient and a waste of taxpayer dollars. But what many don’t realize is that it’s not just burdensome regulations causing problems. The truth is that employees opposed to the ideas of elected leaders can do far more to slow down and even halt policies that the American people want to see put into action. Everyone in Washington knows this, and I can’t understand why more people aren’t outraged and doing something about it.

While we must pass the Public Service Reform Act to get this done, I also think we need to put term limits on unelected bureaucrats. The permanent ruling class in Washington is bankrupting us with inflation and debt, so they must be removed.

For you to have more, Washington must have less. That goes for members of Congress and government bureaucrats. In my Plan to Rescue America, I propose 12-year term limits on the entirety of Washington’s ruling class. Public service is a noble and worthy cause, but outside of critical national security positions, we don’t need people making a career out of government work. That only blocks fresh ideas and sticks us with old thinking, tired and failed policies, and even more red tape.

I bet that if you talked to any small-business owner across America, they would agree that when you find someone working to halt an approved company initiative, you fire them. That’s not a controversial position to take.

What I am proposing is simple. When executive branch employees don’t do their jobs, our elected leaders, and the people they appoint to run federal agencies, should be able to fire them. I’m glad to have the support of Sen. Eric Schmitt, Missouri Republican, in getting this done, and our friend GOP Rep. Chip Roy of Texas leading the effort in the House of Representatives.

Americans are tired of the old, dumb and slow way Washington works. It actually doesn’t work at all, and that’s the problem we need to fix. If we want to change Washington so that it actually works for American families, we need to get rid of the failed top-down approach and stop looking the other way while unelected bureaucrats undermine the policies of elected leaders. It’s time to pass the Public Service Reform Act, take power away from Washington’s unelected bureaucracy and give it back to the people — where it belongs.

Republican Rick Scott represents Florida in the Senate. He is a former governor of Florida.