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Trump Administration Proposes Sweeping Federal Reorganization

26 Jun 2018 1:54 PM | Steve Wallace (Administrator)

On June 21st, the White House released President Trump's proposal for Federal restructuring and reorganization, entitled "Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century: Reform Plan and Reorganization Recommendations". Some highlights are as follows:
  • USDA's Rural Housing Loan Guarantee and Rental Assistance Programs would be moved from USDA's authority and relocated to HUD, thus making them HUD programs. (pages 35-36 of the Proposal)
  • CDBG would be moved out of HUD's umbrella and would instead be merged into a new "Bureau of Economic Growth". The proposed "Bureau of Economic Growth" would be located within the authority of the Department of Commerce. (pages 78-80 of the Proposal)
  • Conservatorship for the GSEs (Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae) would be officially ended, as both certain Members of Congress and the Trump Administration have publicly wanted to accomplish for some time. (pages 75-77 of the Proposal)
  • Establishes a new "Council on Public Assistance", which would consist of all agencies which administer public benefits programs (including HUD). The proposed Council would have the authority to set certain cross-program policies. The proposal makes clear that one such policy would be setting work requirements for recipients of these benefits programs. (pages 27-28 of the Proposal)
  • Implement the Administration's previously-released Rent Reform Proposal, the "Making Affordable Housing Work Act". (page 124 of the Proposal)
  • Consolidate HUD's satellite offices in DC into the main headquarters (the Robert C. Weaver Building). (page 124 of the Proposal)
It is important to note that the proposal does not contain any legislative text; it is the duty of Congress to approve and implement Federal restructuring plans put forward by a particular President. This is due to Congress' "power of the purse" (e.g. the sole power to approve a Federal Budget lies with Congress), as any Federal restructuring would require a new set of allocations for each Federal Agency. These new allocations, in turn, would also necessitate each Committee (and requisite Subcommittees), in both Chambers, to acquiesce to a new budget authority. This may be easier said than done- while it is easy for a Committee/Subcommittee to agree to an increased budget authority, decreasing that budget authority is another matter entirely. In short, the Trump Administration's Restructuring Proposal will have a hard time making its way through Congress. 


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