GOP congresswoman urges term limits for federal bureaucrats as Fauci announces retirement

New York Republican lamented that new administrations often find themselvces faced with "civil servants who you can't fire" regardless of professional performance.

Published: August 23, 2022 12:40pm

Updated: August 24, 2022 8:21am

"Maybe we need term limits on bureaucrats serving in government," Rep. Claudia Tenney (R-N.Y.) said Tuesday in the wake of Dr. Anthony Fauci's recent announcement that he is retiring from the federal government after serving as director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases since 1984.

"Maybe that's one of the solutions we should have," Tenney told the John Solomon Reports podcast. "Maybe we should revisit some of the ideas of people staying too long and not really doing the job they need to do."

Fauci announced Monday that he would be stepping down from his positions as NIAID director and chief medical adviser to President Joe Biden before the end of the calendar year.

"I am announcing today that I will be stepping down from the positions of Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID) and Chief of the NIAID Laboratory of Immunoregulation, as well as the position of Chief Medical Advisor to President Joe Biden," Fauci said in a statement. "I will be leaving these positions in December of this year to pursue the next chapter of my career."

Fauci's departure is overdue, Tenney argued, citing his performance as the federal government's most visible public health official during the COVID-19 pandemic under Presidents Trump and Biden 

"Anthony Fauci should have been fired during this crisis," Tenney said. "During the pandemic, he really did a disservice to the American people.

"I do think that we should definitely consider at least having standards with people who are serving in government where we can remove them if they're not doing a good job." 

Tenney said she has often heard that there are certain people in the federal workforce who are effectively guaranteed life tenure, regardless of professional performance.

"I hear about it all the time from many people whose new administrations move in, and you have civil servants who you can't fire," Tenney explained.

"I know President Trump did change that law when it came to the Veterans Administration," she said, referring to a 2017 law signed by Trump making it easier to fire employees at the Department of Veteran Affairs for incompetence or misconduct. "And we had people that weren't doing the best work for our veterans, and we were able to fire people who weren't performing well there."

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