The White House announced a plan to merge two major federal government agencies Thursday as part of a long-planned effort to improve government efficiency, CNBC reported.
The plan calls for the Department of Education and the Department of Labor to come together as the Department of Education and the Workforce.
“This effort, along with the recent executive orders on federal unions, are the biggest pieces so far of our plan to drain the swamp,” Mick Mulvaney, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said. “The federal government is bloated, opaque, bureaucratic, and inefficient.”
What are the details?
This proposed reorganization has been in the works since the early months of President Donald Trump’s term. The elimination of an independent Education Department is in line with the wishes of many Republicans, including current Education Secretary Betsy DeVos.
The merger would “allow the federal government to address the educational and skill needs of American students and workers in a coordinated way, eliminating the duplication of effort,” Mulvaney said.
The Education Department, which was created in 1980 under the Jimmy Carter administration, is the smallest Cabinet-level department in terms of employees — there are currently about 4,000 workers. The department has an annual budget of $70 billion.
The Department of Health and Human Services would also be reformed into the Department of Health and Public Welfare and would consolidate numerous social safety net programs such as nutrition assistance and other welfare initiatives.
Will this become a reality?
There will likely be significant opposition to these proposals in Congress, which would need to approve these changes.
Other opponents could include federal employee unions, who won’t be pleased with the likely reduction in employees these changes would cause.
Sen. Patty Murray (D-Wash.) said Congress has opposed similar reforms in the past and said Trump “should expect the same result for this latest attempt to make the government work worse for the people it serves.”