President Donald Trump said Monday he was firing the chairman of the TVA board and a second board member for outsourcing TVA IT jobs overseas. Over 60 TVA's U.S. workers recently were laid off, including some in Chattanooga.
James "Skip" Thompson of Decatur, Ala., is the current chairman.
President Trump also said that TVA's Jeff Lyash is way overpaid, saying he gets around $8 million a year. He said the pay should be no more than $500,000.
TVA has been criticized by U.S. Tech Workers, a group formed to fight replacement of U.S. jobs with foreign ones.
Senate candidate Bill Hagerty praised "President Donald Trump’s latest Executive Order to ensure Americans are not displaced by foreign workers using federal dollars. Additionally, President Trump is keeping his promise to drain the swamp by firing two Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA) board members.
“President Donald Trump is right, we can’t outsource American jobs at a time when our unemployment rate is higher than ever. Thanks to Communist China, we are in the midst of the biggest economic downturn since the Great Depression. President Trump and his Administration have taken unprecedented steps to keep people employed during this difficult period and it flies in the face of those efforts when TVA decides to outsource Tennessee jobs at this time. Our power grid is an integral component of our nation’s infrastructure and there are significant national security concerns associated with outsourcing any aspect of software or IT management to firms that may be foreign-owned, staffed or otherwise impacted. We need to put the American worker and our national security first. President Trump is making good on his promise to drain the swamp, and as your next Senator, I will continue to work with President Trump to bring our supply chains home and make Made in the USA the theme of our nation once more.”
Dr. Manny Sethi, another GOP Senate candidate, said, “President Trump was right to take action on the Tennessee Valley Authority. Our public utilities do not need overpaid bureaucrats and executives. I am grateful to see the President take these steps because it will hopefully help TVA move in the right direction - towards transparency and accountability.”
Senator Lamar Alexander said, “TVA may have shown poor judgment hiring foreign companies during a pandemic, but, on most counts, it does a very good job of producing large amounts of low-cost, reliable electricity. Residential electric rates are among the 25 percent lowest in the country, and industrial rates are among the lowest 10 percent. TVA’s debt is the lowest in 30 years, its pension fund is stronger and TVA leads the country in new nuclear power plants.
“According to TVA, the annual total compensation of TVA’s CEO is in the bottom fourth of what the CEOs of other big utilities earn and is set strictly according to requirements of federal law. TVA receives no federal tax dollars.”
James Mackler, a Democratic candidate for U.S. Senate, said, “Outsourcing jobs to private contracting companies, well known for offshoring operations, during a pandemic that has already taken more than 50 million American jobs, is wrong and undermines the mission of TVA to ‘make life better for the people of the Tennessee Valley.’ I support the president’s decision to do something about it.
“In the Senate, I’ll seek to serve on the Environment & Public Works Committee, which oversees TVA, as it’s critical Tennesseans have a voice in all discussions about an agency that is and has been so essential to our state.”