Trump Plans To Overhaul Federal Government By Scaling Back Social Welfare Programs
On Thursday, President Donald Trump‘s administration announced a plan to overhaul the federal government that would include the rolling back or restructuring of many social welfare programs that benefit poor Americans.
Trump Reveals Plan To Overhaul Government, Social Welfare Programs
Republicans who have tried to get Trump to cut back on these programs were behind the move.
“We’re dealing with a government that’s so byzantine you don’t know where to start,” Trump’s budget director Mick Mulvaney told the president’s Cabinet, according to the Washington Post, before adding this scheme was one of the “biggest pieces so far of our plan to drain the swamp.”
Also reportedly part of the effort is an attempt to merge departments like the Labor and Education Departments and to consolidate employment programs, and Mulvaney’s staffers told the Times they believe this plan “is not likely to gain the congressional approval needed to make the changes.”
In televised comments at the White House on Thursday, Trump said the plan was “extraordinarily boring.”
Democratic Rep. Gerald Connolly, whose Northern Virginia district counts thousands of federal employees, said Trump’s administration is simply restructuring agencies that provide safety-net programs as a pretense for eliminating them.
“Don’t fall for this,” Connolly said in a statement, per the Post. Last month, Trump signed an executive order that would make it easier to fire federal workers, another move that could severely hurt districts like Connolly’s.
Trump’s plan also includes transferring employee background check duties from the Office of Personnel Management to the Defense Department, an example of a move that reportedly doesn’t require congressional approval.
According to the Times, Trump does not personally care much for these types of policy matters and “can identify only a handful of domestic policy aides, including Mr. Mulvaney, by name.”
Tom Perez, the Democratic National Committee Chairman who served as the U.S. Labor Secretary under President Barack Obama, said the deconstruction of that department was an attack on American workers and members of the agency itself.
“The Department of Labor provides critical services to protect working conditions, help retirees and ensure that every worker is paid a fair wage for their hard work,” Perez said.
The plan also proposes turning the current Department of Health and Human Services into the Department of Health and Public Welfare, and also suggests creating just one food safety agency under the Department of Agriculture. This would thus reduce the Food and Drug Administration’s main functions.
The Environmental Protection Agency, for example, would take in parts of hazardous site cleanup initiatives run by other Departments like Agriculture.
Trump’s administration has pushed for cutting working-class Americans’ dependence on the federal government for things like housing and Medicaid subsidies and food stamps. Under Obama, many efforts were instituted to prevent low-income people from being discriminated against or taken advantage of with regards to housing or healthcare.