White House Scrambles to Find Operatives Permanent Jobs
Bush appointees 'burrow' in at agencies
By Rob Quinn,  Newser Staff
Posted Nov 18, 2008 7:13 AM CST
Jim Caswell holds up a wolf pelt during an interview at the Department of the Interior, Friday, Oct. 5, 2007. Bush operatives in department jobs are expected to strongly influence its future course.   (AP Photos/Susan Walsh)
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(Newser) – The Bush administration is racing to put its political appointees into permanent civil service jobs before the clock runs out, reports the Washington Post. Federal job protection rules will make it tough for the new administration to dislodge the Bush operatives once they are in, meaning that they may keep influencing policy long after the president leaves office.

The practice—dubbed "burrowing"—is nothing new, but insiders say the Bush loyalists in permanent jobs are likely to have an especially strong influence on environmental protection. One appointee recently moved to a civil service post at the Interior Department has long been criticized for putting private interests over environmental concerns and will now "have a huge impact on a broad swath of the West," a department official warns.