The move will kill over 1,000 jobs and harm conservation efforts.
The Trump administration is on a job-cutting frenzy in the public sector — but it appears that even some Republicans have had enough.
In a letter Wednesday to the Trump administration, 51 lawmakers, including a dozen Republicans, urged the White House to not fire one-third of workers in the Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers, which would send 1,065 U.S. workers to the unemployment line.
As the lawmakers pointed out, the fired workers wouldn’t be the only ones hurt by Trump’s cuts.
“These centers not only help support these underserved youth and young adults with invaluable job training, but they also provide essential capacity for the U.S. Forest Service to fulfill its mission and provide economic opportunities in rural areas,” the lawmakers said in a statement.
The Job Corps Civilian Conservation Centers are intended to assist U.S. conservation efforts on public lands. The centers operate in 17 national forests across 16 states and provide forestry and emergency training to over 3,000 young people per year, many of whom come from low-income areas.
The members of Congress also lambasted Trump for laying off the workers “after a difficult year of natural disasters and with hurricane and wildfire season quickly approaching,” possibly putting lives at risk. The center’s students provided nearly half a million hours of wildfire support in 2017, according to the lawmakers.
The letter was addressed to Labor Secretary Alexander Acosta and Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue, who claim the cuts were needed to provide “lower costs to taxpayers” — although it will be difficult for the fired workers to pay any taxes when they’re no longer making income.
The move is in line with Trump’s history of hurting workers, despite his campaign promises to protect them.
Last month, Ford Motor Company announced it would lay off 24,000 workers worldwide after Trump’s tariffs on imported steel and aluminum added $1 billion a year in costs for the company. General Motors has also announced major cuts.
But government jobs, a frequent target of Republicans, have also been in the cross-hairs. Trump’s 2020 budget requested a $220 billion cut to the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, which would lead to 178,000 job losses over the next decade. Major cuts to other departments and programs would lead to further layoffs.
It turns out having a businessman as president hasn’t been good for workers.