Opening The Hatch

Why The Hatch Act Will Benefit America

What is the Hatch Act?

The Hatch Act will limit certain political activities of federal employees, as well as some state, D.C., and local government employees who work in connection with federally funded programs. The law will ensure that federal programs are administered in a nonpartisan fashion, to protect federal employees from political coercion in the workplace, and will also ensure that federal employees are advanced based on merit and not based on political affiliation.

The Act forbids the intimidation or bribery of voters and restricts political campaign activities by federal employees. It will prohibit using any public funds designated for relief or public works for electoral purposes. It forbids officials that are paid with federal funds from using promises of jobs, promotion, financial assistance, contracts or any other benefit to coerce campaign contributions or political support. It also provides that persons below the policy-making level in the executive branch of the federal government must not only refrain from political practices that would be illegal for any citizen, but must abstain from "any active part" in political campaigns, using this language to specify those who are exempt.