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VA Exempts Contracting, Healthcare Positions from Trump’s Federal Hiring Freeze

The Department of Veterans Affairs has exempted contracting, construction and project management professionals from the federal hiring freeze as VA starts construction projects and leases at over 20 medical centers and health facilities, Federal News Radio reported Friday.

Nicole Ogrysko writes President Donald Trump issued a Jan. 23 memo that would bar federal agencies from hiring new employees until the Office of Management and Budget drafts a plan over the next three months on how to implement attrition to shrink the size of the federal workforce.

Rob Snyder, acting VA secretary, said in a Friday memo that the exemption will also cover doctors, nurses, medical center directors, pharmacists, therapies and physicians assistants at VA’s outpatient clinics and medical centers in an effort to facilitate the continuous delivery of healthcare to veterans.

Snyder added that exemptions may also be granted for some support positions at VA’s office of acquisitions, logistics and construction, Ogrysko reports.

The department’s move comes after Sen. Jon Tester (D-Montana) and Rep. Tim Walz (D-Minnesota), ranking members of the Senate and House Veterans Affairs committees, led a group of 55 lawmakers to call on Trump to consider the potential impact of the hiring freeze on veterans’ medical care and disability claims backlog, the report added.

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