Press Release ● Federal Employees
For Immediate Release: 
January 30, 2017
Contact Info: 

Mariel Saez 202-225-3130

WASHINGTON, DC - House Democratic Whip Steny H. Hoyer (MD) released the following statement today in response to comments by Sean Spicer during today’s White House press briefing

“Today’s assertion by the White House press secretary that career foreign service officers who disagree with the new administration ought to ‘get with the program or they can go,’ is a deeply disturbing statement that runs counter to our more than century-old tradition of a nonpartisan foreign service.  All federal employees, including foreign service officers, have a right to hold their own views based on their experience and knowledge from their years of service.

“It has been the longstanding practice in the State Department for career foreign service officers to sign onto a memo of dissent in order to ensure that contrary views are taken into consideration by the political appointees managing our foreign policy.  In fact, just last summer a dissent memo was signed by State Department officials criticizing President Obama’s Syria policy.  Stifling legitimate dissenting views at the State Department – or those of any civil servant across our agencies – undermines the ability of our government to adopt the best ideas and put them into practice in service to the American people.  Our career foreign service officers are the finest in the world, and no matter what changes a new administration brings, we must ensure that they can adhere to their sacred oath and serve this country as they have so ably in the past.”