For a while now, there has been a lot of news about plans to restructure the federal government. Most of these plans for reorganization would require approval from Congress. The Reforming Government Act of 2018 (S 3137) provides a legal path for making changes discussed by the director of the Office of Management and Budget, Mick Mulvaney.
Introduced by Senator Ron Johnson (R-WI), this bill would make it possible for President Trump to start the process of implementing the government reorganization plan. This bill doesn’t give the president authority to make unilateral changes in how the government is organized. Instead, the bill would change the current law to incorporate the changes proposed in the reorganization plan that was recently released.
There is existing legislation that provides a path for reorganizing the federal government. This bill would modify that legislation. One change would be to allow the president to submit a reorganization plan that would provide for the “creation of a new agency that is not a component or part of an existing executive department or independent agency.”
The legislation would also eliminate the restriction in current law to create a “new executive department or renaming an existing executive department, publishing, or transferring an executive department…”
There are important changes as the law would be changed to incorporate significant portions of the new reorganization plan. For example, the new proposal would create a new agency called the Department of Education and the Workforce Department. This agency would combine the existing Department of Labor and the Department of Education into one agency with a new name.
Role of Congress
Under the new legislation, Trump would have 2 years after the bill is enacted to submit the reorganization plan to Congress. Congress would then have 90 days to approve changes. If the changes are not approved, the plan would not be implemented.
This bill would only make changes to what can be in the reorganization proposal, not how Congress will handle the proposal.
Of course, there is no guarantee this will become law, and if it does, it will take a long time before it is enacted.