June 22, 2018
As part of a broader effort to eliminate federal waste and ensure bureaucratic efficiency, the Trump administration has proposed combining the Labor and Education Departments into a single agency divided into four subgroups that respectively focus on K-12 education; workforce training and higher education programs; enforcement; and research, evaluation, and administration.
The enforcement agency in the combined department would be composed of the DOL’s seven worker protection agencies, the Education Department’s Office of Civil Rights, and the DOL’s International Labor Affairs Bureau.
The proposal received mixed reaction in Congress and worker advocacy groups were quick to criticize the plan.
A long shot: The establishment of a Department of Education and the Workforce faces an uphill battle in the House and Senate. If it is taken up, it is unclear how much of the proposal could be completed through the reconciliation process, which only requires 51 Senate votes.