On Thursday the Administration rolled out how they would reorganize the government. In addition to changing HHS, the plans would combine the Department of Education with the Department of Labor. It would be re-named the Department of Education and Workforce. The Department of Education was created under President Jimmy Carter when, at the same time, he moved education programs from the Department of Health Education and Welfare (HEW) and renamed that Department to the current Health and Human Services. The Trump plan now calls HHS the Department of Health and Public Welfare.
Mick Mulvane, Director of the Office of Management and Budget and Acting Director of the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau said that his plan was part of the Administration’s effort to “drain the swamp.” The concept appears to highlight the Administration’s view that education exists to promote work. The plan lacks detail on what might be eliminated. The Labor Department doesn’t just hold job training programs it also includes enforcement of worker’s rights, fair labor standards, civil rights and various labor laws and it collects labor statistics and data. The Department of Labor became a cabinet post in 1913 as one of the last acts of President William Taft.
Much of Washington is not taking the Trump plan seriously. It cannot be done by executive order or fiat. Such plans will be especially contentious if it involves changing committee jurisdiction in the House and Senate.