June 21 (UPI) — The White House announced Thursday sweeping plans to reorganize the government’s executive branch, including a merger of the Labor and Education departments.
The White House said the plan would help make the federal government “more efficient, effective and accountable.”
“Billions and billions of dollars are being wasted on activities that are not delivering results for hardworking American taxpayers,” President Donald Trump said in a statement.
In a 135-page report outlining the plan, the Trump administration would merge the departments of Education and Labor into a new Department of Education and the Workforce.
Furthermore, Welfare and food aid programs would be consolidated into the newly named Department of Health and Public Welfare. Rural housing assistance, now at the Department of Agriculture, would shift to the Department of Housing and Urban Development.
A new Federal Food Safety Agency would consolidate food safety programs — now overseen by the Department of Agriculture — and the Food and Drug Administration.
“Today’s executive branch is still aligned to the stove-piped organizational constructs of the 20th Century, which in many cases have grown inefficient and out-of-date,” the report said.
The White House said the federal government “lacks the organization and technology” to provide efficient services, and proposed digitizing all documents and reorganizing to help agencies maintain effectiveness over time.
“Poultry companies have to deal with multiple government offices and loads of paperwork because chickens and eggs are regulated by different agencies,” the White House said, for example.
The ambitious proposal also seeks to restructure, and possibly privatize, the U.S. Postal Service.
“Businesses change all the time. Government doesn’t,” White House budget director Mick Mulvaney said in a statement. “One of the things you get when you hire a businessman to become president is you bring this attitude from the private sector into the government world.”
Trump first announced plans to restructure the government in March 2017, with an executive order titled the “Comprehensive Plan for Reorganizing the Executive Branch.”
It’s unclear whether the restructuring will make it through Congress, where it must be approved.
The last successful effort for a major restructuring occurred in 2002, when Congress established the Department of Homeland Security after the Sept. 11 terror attacks.