The Trump administration is preparing to release a sweeping plan for reorganizing the federal government that includes a major consolidation of welfare programs and a renaming of the Health and Human Services Department.
The report, set to be released in the coming weeks by the White House Office of Management and Budget, seeks to move safety-net programs, including food stamps, into HHS, two sources with knowledge of the plan told POLITICO. The plan would also propose changing the name of the sprawling department, while separately seeking cuts at the U.S. Agency for International Development and the State Department.
The $70 billion food stamp program, formally known as the Supplemental Nutrition Assistance Program, is run by the Agriculture Department and makes up the vast majority of the department’s budget. The program helps more than 40 million low-income Americans buy groceries each month.
“You have low-income assistance in a bunch of different shops without one point of oversight and without a whole lot of communication,” said one of the people with knowledge of the plan. “Why not have one federal agency responsible for execution?”
The report, which is expected to recommend big changes at many federal agencies, is almost complete and is expected to be introduced this month, according to one administration official. Sources in and outside the government have been told the rollout will happen in late June. The plan is still being finalized and some of the details could change, but one of the people familiar with the report said the proposal to reorganize HHS has widespread buy-in at OMB.
OMB spokesman Jacob Wood declined to comment on the plan.
The biggest changes outlined by the White House are unlikely to be implemented because moving multi billion-dollar programs and renaming federal departments generally requires congressional action. But the plan, like the president’s annual budget, demonstrates the administration’s thinking on a range of domestic policy issues. It also offers a strong political selling point for the Trump White House as it tries to burnish an image of an administration dedicated to conservative principles and smaller government.