Trump’s hiring freeze is hurting veterans and people on Social Security

BIRCH RUN, MI - AUGUST 11: Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump speaks at a press conference before delivering the keynote address at the Genesee and Saginaw Republican Party Lincoln Day Event August 11, 2015 in Birch Run, Michigan. This is Trump's first campaign event since his Republican debate last week. (Photo by Bill Pugliano/Getty Images)

By Laura Clawson

Put “federal hiring freeze” on the long, long list of things Donald Trump didn’t realize might be complicated. It turns out that when people leave jobs, things don’t get done because their coworkers can’t magically do twice as much work. And while breaking the government is a major Republican goal, breaking the government in ways their own voters notice might be a little more dangerous.
In mid-March, Veterans Affairs Secretary David Shulkin ordered that jobs tied to processing benefits claims wouldn’t be affected by the freeze. But the previous six weeks of no hiring, combined with high turnover and increased claims, pushed the backlog of veterans’ claims to recently top 100,000. The backlog was over 600,000 in early 2013 before the department made a concerted effort to reduce it below 100,000 starting last year.

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