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Chapter : General Government
During President Reagan's second term, deepening conflicts between the White House and Congress extended to much of the legislation affecting federal officeholders, especially on matters of employee benefits and ethics in government.
Reagan's second term began in 1985 with his director of the Office of Personnel Management, Donald J. Devine, seeking the first pay cut for government employees since the Great Depression. Arguing that their pay was too generous, Devine sought to tie it more closely to performance than to seniority.
By the end of the year, Devine was out of office, the victim of his own combative style. His successor, Constance Horner, negotiated a change in the federal merit system that satisfied both the administration and congressional supporters of federal workers. The workers, for ...