February 11, 2017
By Steven Wishnia and Neal Tepel
Washington, DC – Workers at several federal agencies are developing ways to resist Trump administration policies, from his ban on refugees entering the country to his attempt to cancel ads urging people to sign up for Obamacare.
Health and Human Services Department employees were able to stop that cancellation when they pointed out that it would make young and healthy adults less likely to sign up, driving prices up for everyone else. American Federation of Government Employees Council 238, which represents about 9,000 Environmental Protection Agency employees, is considering setting up a fund to “defend federal scientists we anticipate will be disciplined for speaking out or for defending scientific facts,” Nicole Cantello, vice president of Local 704 in Chicago, told the Washington Post. Another AFGE leader got an email Jan. 31 from a local union official asking what to tell workers “if they receive an illegal order from management.” In early February, America Rising, a Republican opposition-research firm, filed a Freedom of Information Act request for all emails sent to or from Council 238 President John O’Grady that mention President Trump. “You’re going to see the bureaucrats using time to their advantage,” said a Justice Department employee, who works with nonprofits fighting domestic violence and researching sex crimes, asking to be anonymous for fear of retaliation. “People here will resist and push back against orders they find unconscionable.” Read more