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White House proposes combining Education and Labor departments

Posted at 2:53 PM, Jun 21, 2018

The White House wants to merge the Education and Labor departments into one federal agency as part of a larger plan to restructure the government.

The combining of the two agencies to form the proposed Department of Education and the Workforce was included in an Office of Management and Budget plan released Thursday that outlines a major overhaul of the executive branch.

President Donald Trump's expected proposal is a long shot since reorganizing the government will need approval from Congress. Trump's predecessor, President Barack Obama, tried and failed to combine several agencies focused on trade and commerce.

Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos came out in support of the government restructuring plan, saying it's a "big step" toward fulfilling Trump's campaign promise to "reduce the federal footprint in education and to make the federal government more efficient and effective."

"This proposal will make the federal government more responsive to the full range of needs faced by American students, workers, and schools," DeVos said in a statement. "I urge Congress to work with the Administration to make this proposal a reality."

Education Weekand The Washington Postwere the first to reported on the plan to combine the two departments.

Last year, after Trump signed an executive order, Office of Management and Budget head Mick Mulvaney directed agency leaders to identify which programs were unnecessary and redundant.

Thursday's proposal also would move several major US Department of Agriculture nutrition assistance programs to the Department of Health and Human Services and would rename that agency the Department of Health and Public Welfare.