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Trump calls for reorganizing government

U.S. President Donald Trump speaks before signing the Section 232 Proclamations on Steel and Aluminum Imports during a ceremony at the White House Thursday, March 8, 2018 in Washington, D.C. (Olivier Douliery/Abaca Press/TNS)

President Donald Trump proposed a reorganization of the federal government, aiming to combine the Education and Labor departments and shift control of U.S. food aid programs away from the Agriculture Department.

The plan also calls for an overhaul of the U.S. Postal Service, including the possible privatization of mail delivery. Any reorganization would require congressional approval, an uphill challenge in an election year.

“Having to work through multiple Federal agencies to conduct business or solve simple problems is not an efficient or effective use of taxpayer resources,” the Office of Management and Budget said Thursday in a statement.

The plan would create the Department of the Education and the Workforce, combining the Education and Labor departments and also shift governance of federal food aid programs from the Agriculture Department to the Health and Human Services Department.

The Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, or SNAP, would be moved from the Agriculture Department to HHS, rebranding the agency as “Department of Health and Public Welfare.”

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As with many of Trump’s proposals, this one is likely to receive a cold reception in Congress and die without becoming law.

Democrats and Republicans in the Senate have already voted down Trump’s effort to add more requirements for people to qualify for food assistance under SNAP, and few lawmakers have expressed interest in eliminating or overhauling federal agencies.

A proposal in Trump’s budget earlier this year to replace food stamps with so-called “harvest boxes” of American-made food — also fell flat in Congress.

Trump’s budget director, Mick Mulvaney, who said the replacement for food stamps would reduce spending by more than $200 billion over a decade, is also championing the government reorganization.

Mulvaney, a budget hawk while in Congress, has overseen a rapid increase in federal deficits and government spending since joining the Trump administration last year.

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© 2018 Bloomberg News

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