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Hillary Clinton to Feds: ‘Stick It Out’ Under Trump and the Tide Will Turn

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Former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on stage at the Warner Theatre in Washington during a stop on a tour for her latest book, "What Happened." Former Democratic presidential candidate and Secretary of State Hillary Clinton sits on stage at the Warner Theatre in Washington during a stop on a tour for her latest book, "What Happened." Carolyn Kaster/AP

President Trump has promised to slash the federal workforce and reduce agency budgets in his effort to remake and shrink the government. On Monday, his former opponent Hillary Clinton offered a glimpse into the entirely different atmosphere in which feds may have found themselves if the election had turned out differently.

Clinton, the former Democratic presidential nominee and secretary of State now on a tour to promote her latest book What Happened, acknowledged civil servants are in a tough situation. The Trump administration has created a bad climate in federal offices, she said, but she encouraged employees to “stick it out.”

“I don’t want us to lose the decades — really, if you added it all up, the thousands of years — of experience in the [Environmental Protection Agency], in the State Department, in the Labor Department, in a lot of the places being targeted by the administration,” Clinton said at an event in Washington, D.C., on Monday, according to Politico. “At some point they’re going to need you, and the country is going to need you. And I hope you’re still there.”

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The Trump administration has so far ignored that institutional knowledge, Clinton said, criticizing what so far has been “disregard, even contempt, among many in this administration about what federal workers know and what they’ve done, and the advice they can give.”

She suggested things could quickly turn around for federal employees, saying if Democrats win one or both of the House and Senate in the 2018 midterm election the workforce “will have people you can talk to again.”

“Stick it out,” Clinton advised, “stick it out, because the tide has to turn.”

During the presidential campaign, nearly all federal employee unions endorsed Clinton. She told those groups she would ensure feds are paid fairly through “appropriate pay raises” and would “oppose across-the-board arbitrary pay freezes, retirement cuts or cuts to other employee benefits.”

Eric Katz writes about federal agency operations and management. His deep coverage of Veterans Affairs, Homeland Security, the Environmental Protection Agency and U.S. Postal Service has earned him frequent guest spots on national radio and television news programs. Eric joined Government Executive in the summer of 2012 and previously worked for The Financial Times. He is a graduate of The George Washington University.

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