Almost every modern president has tackled initiatives of government “reorganization,” looking into ways to streamline the federal bureaucracy and get rid of unneeded overlap between agencies. When one considers these goals, they sound good.
However, there’s often reason to be skeptical when President Trump’s team takes a task on.
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney has been concocting a broad plan to rearrange a lot of the federal bureaucracy, which allegedly will include “consolidation” of safety-net programs. Like Politico observed, though, the most important factor of the plan seems to be the idea to merge two cabinet agencies.
The Trump administration plans to advocate a merger of the Education and Labor departments as part of a sweeping government overhaul, according to two individuals familiar with the proposal who declined to be named because it’s not yet public. […]
The plan, if undertaken by the administration, would pose a heavy political and legislative lift. Past attempts to eliminate the Education Department haven’t proven popular in Congress.
A report from the Washington Post explained that the Education Department is in charge of “federal student loans, distributes K-12 education funding, and enforces federal civil rights laws at public schools and colleges,” but the Labor Department possesses “a broad portfolio that includes programs to train workers, enforcement of minimum-wage laws, the Bureau of Labor Statistics – which produces economic data – and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration.”
We could generously suggest some job-training initiatives the Labor Department covers could be taken over by the Education Department could, but arguing that both cabinet agencies should combine into one giant, new entity is unreasonable.
So why are they bothering?
The probable explanation is the GOP administration wants to show it embraces the longtime aspiration of the right to get rid of the Department of Education. Republicans have been attacking the agency for years, and Education Secretary Betsy DeVos, hasn’t kept her negative opinions about the agency she leads a secret.