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Congressional Republicans say they expect a purge of political appointees in the Bush administration if Sen. Barack Obama wins the presidential election in November.

The evidence: Rep. Henry Waxman, California Democrat and chairman of the House Committee on Oversight and Government Reform, in March requested a Government Accountability Office probe of all non-career government officials who converted to career positions, meaning they technically can remain in the next administration, while most politicals resign.

Mr. Waxman and two other House Democrats stated in requesting the review that GAO had done similar reviews in past administrations and stated, “As we approach the end of the current administration, we believe this is an appropriate time to conduct another such review.”

A Republican aide said the GAO study is a sign that Democrats may be more efficient at imposing political controls in the executive branch than Republicans. While the Bush administration sometimes vetted applicants for career positions according to their politics, it also kept on numerous Democratic holdovers, occasionally with embarrassing results. For example, Richard Clarke, a Clinton administration counterterrorism official, stayed on in the Bush White House and then became a harsh critic of the president, charging in a book that Mr. Bush was to blame for not taking aggressive action against al Qaeda before Sept. 11.