The Trump presidency continues to stumble, with the withdrawal of the President’s pick to head up the Office of Personnel Management, George Nesterczuk. Last week Nesterczuk quietly withdrew from consideration, leaving the administration with no nominee to run the small but crucial OPM agency that oversees policies for all 2 million employees of the federal government. The OPM agency would be central to any sweeping efforts to overhaul the federal government workforce, which was one of President Trump’s major objectives. A former OPM official with decades of experience, Nesterczuk had found himself embroiled in controversy when unions sent a letter protesting his nomination, raising questions about his work for the Ukrainian government under pro-Russian prime minister Victor Yanukovych, as well as his potential ties to former Trump campaign chairman Paul Manafort. According to Elaine Kamarck, a senior fellow at the Brookings Institute, “His withdrawal is a huge obstacle because they don’t have anybody in the White House with any federal government expertise.” The withdrawal is part of bigger issues the administration has faced in attempting to fill key positions, as Trump has yet to nominate candidates for 354 of 577 key positions. The 117 nominees who have been confirmed are far fewer than Obama or Bush had in place this far into either of their terms.
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