White House Proposal Could Change Face of Federal Government

Plan will streamline departments for greater efficiency and economic stability.

By Allegra Thatcher Published on June 23, 2018

The crusade to “drain the swamp” of the federal government saw its most intensive day of battle so far on June 21 when the Trump administration issued a proposal for a major bureaucratic realignment.

According to The Associated Press, the proposal will reorganize and streamline the federal government. Among other changes, the proposal includes:

  • Merging the education and labor departments
  • Moving the federal food stamp program, SNAP, under new administration
  • Re-naming the Department of Health and Human Services

Purpose and Background

The idea has been in the works for some time. Federal News Radio reported that Trump signed an order in March 2017 to spur it into action. At that time, White House press secretary Sean Spicer asked each government agency to identify certain facts. These included areas for growth, how money is being wasted and if the services are proving useful to the nation. Each department had 180 days to complete this.

Spicer said then, “This is the beginning of a long overdue reorganization of the federal government and another significant step toward the President’s often stated goal of making it more efficient, effective and accountable to the American people.”

The proposal is the hoped-for solution to the long-existing overlap of regulations and jobs between various departments. Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said: “We’re almost 20 percent into the 21st century but we’re still dealing with a government that is from the early 20th century.”

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An example of overlap lies in the 40 job training programs for 16 cabinet agencies, according to AP. 

This excess has led to the government issuing $144 billion in “improper payments” each year, according to The Heritage Foundation. These numbers were reported in the U.S. Government Accountability Office’s annual statement.

Mulvaney called the proposal a “desperately needed, top-to-bottom look at how our government works and, sadly, doesn’t.” He went on to describe it as a “call to action,” citing the statistic that every American’s share of the national debt is $60,000 and growing.

“At the end of this process, OMB will propose a plan to comprehensively reorganize Washington,” he continued.

Changes to Current Policy

One of the most revolutionary elements of the bill is the merging of the education and labor departments. The result is the proposed Department of Education and the Workforce, or DEW. According to POLITICO, the Department of Education submitted a proposal last fall that would take over several of the Labor Department’s programs. The department had no thought in mind of merging the two at the time. However, the request makes clear there is overlap between them.

The proposal also re-names the DHHS to the Department of Health and Public Welfare, reported The Hill. This will include moving SNAP from the Department of Agriculture to this newly named department.

Many congressional leaders are hesitant to back the proposal. Sen. Patty Murray (Wash.), a Democrat on the Senate Health, Education, Labor and Pensions Committee, claimed in an interview in The Hill that it will fall through completely.

Murray said in the past, both Democrats and Republicans in Congress have rejected President Trump’s proposals. “He should expect the same result for this latest attempt to make government work worse for the people it serves.”

Congress will be working to come to a conclusion on this proposal through the summer, said The Hill. With this new plan of action, the administration hopes to better serve US citizens in the way they deserve. It is taking responsibility for the re-shaping of itself so that Americans can better access solutions to their needs.

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