On Tuesday, eight members of the Federal Service Impasses Panel (FSIP) resigned at the request of the Biden administration, according to Aloysius Hogan, a spokesperson for the Federal Labor Relations Authority, which oversees the FSIP. The other two members who refused to resign from the panel, which resolves disputes between government agencies and labor groups, were terminated by the 5:00 p.m. deadline that day.
The Biden administration has also removed people from Voice of America, where there was public outcry over what was perceived as Trump’s attempts to create a news network that would act as an extension of his administration.
Two appointees to the National Capital Planning Commission, which oversees development of federal property in the DC area, have also been dismissed.
“The National Capital Planning Commission was notified by the White House on February 3, 2021 that presidential appointees Chairman Paul Dans and Commissioner Gibson Worsham are no longer members of the Commission,” an NCPC spokesperson said in a statement.
Reflecting the more mundane sides of government bureaucracy, most of these boards are not household names, and these presidential appointees usually don’t make national news. But in an increasingly polarized Washington, the fates of several of Trump’s other last-minute appointments remain unclear as they undergo review and receive heightened scrutiny.
“The Biden administration is conducting a thorough review of holdover appointees on councils, commissions, and advisory boards,” White House spokesperson Michael Gwin said.
According to a White House official, as part of the review, the White House “may remove individuals whose continued membership on the board would not serve the public interest.”
Though the Biden administration’s strategy appears in some cases to attempt to do away completely with advisory boards and panels in order to build them back from scratch, including those that require a security clearance, it may prove difficult for Biden to successfully undo Trump’s flurry of appointments to many of the prestigious boards and councils that are a permanent part of the Washington, DC, social scene.
“We are not aware of any process for removal,” John F. Kennedy Center for the Performing Arts spokesperson Brendan Padgett told CNN of the center’s board of trustees, where Pam Bondi, the Florida lawyer who served on Trump’s first impeachment defense team, was recently appointed to serve through September 2026.
Other loyalist appointments include Hope Hicks, Trump’s longtime aide who was appointed to the 12-member J. William Fulbright Foreign Scholarship Board; Matt Schlapp, a Republican lobbyist whose appointment to the Library of Congress Trust Fund Board was announced in early December; and Nick Luna, Trump’s body man, who is now on the US Holocaust Memorial Council along with Rudy Giuliani’s son.
In many cases, these boards were predominantly or entirely filled with Trump’s allies, former advisers and supporters at the start of Biden’s presidency.
Last-minute presidential appointments
“It’s normal for these positions to get filled especially at the end of an administration. What’s not normal are appointees with so little connectivity or qualifications,” said Max Stier, president and CEO of the nonpartisan Partnership for Public Service.
Appointments to prestigious boards and commissions can be a glamorous part of Washington, DC’s social scene, and…