Government to Close as D.C. Reflects on Legacy of George H.W. Bush

Last week, former President George Herbert Walker Bush passed away at 94-years-old, with public figures all across D.C. taking the occasion to remember Bush's legacy before, during, and after his single term as president. Barbara Bush, George H.W. Bush's wife and First Lady, also passed away earlier this year.  

In Government Executive, James Goldgeier highlights some of the major milestones that occurred during Bush's term, noting that Bush was the "the last person elected president of the United States with any prior foreign policy experience."

Prior to becoming President, and in addition to serving as Vice President under Ronald Reagan, Bush was previously director of the Central Intelligence Agency, a member of Congress, and the ambassador to the United Nations. Bush was also a World War II veteran.

Although Bush may best be remembered for the international developments on his watch, including a war in Iraq prompted by the invasion of Kuwait, Charles S. Clark writes in Government Executive that Bush had considerable domestic and bureaucratic accomplishments.

"...He also worked with Congress to pass bipartisan, transformative laws, including the 1990 Americans with Disabilities Act, which reshaped public spaces for the disabled and prohibited discrimination, and the 1990 Clean Air Act revisions, which curbed pollution resulting in enormous positive health consequences for all Americans," writes Clark.

On federal workforce issues, Clark writes, Bush was also active, helping to lay influential policy groundwork, with Bush's nominee to direct the U.S. Office of Personnel Management pushing a pay plan that was “nothing less than splitting the General Schedule into local and national pay systems and moving many employees to a locality pay system in which salary rates are based on local costs."

The Trump administration announced that federal agencies will be closed on Wednesday as a means of honoring Bush's service.

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