Senators: Shipyards exempt from federal hiring freeze

February 2, 2017 GMT

CONCORD, N.H. (AP) — New Hampshire Sens. Jeanne Shaheen and Maggie Hassan say the Portsmouth Naval Shipyard and all Navy public shipyards will be exempt from Republican President Donald Trump’s federal hiring freeze.

The Department of Defense clarification comes in response to calls from the senators, both Democrats, to establish this exemption after Shaheen’s office learned that several new hires at the Kittery, Maine-based shipyard received letters indefinitely postponing their start date.

The senators joined fellow Democratic Sens. Brian Schatz and Mazie Hirono, both of Hawaii, to introduce legislation Monday that would establish the exemption.

The freeze announced last week prevented shipyards across the country from hiring engineers, acquisition workforce personnel, trade mechanics, radiological and emergency personnel, regulatory compliance and other support personnel.

Trump’s office said the freeze will slow the dramatic expansion of the federal workforce