Trump’s plan to dismember government


Trump’s plan to dismember government

  • Trump is looking to redefine the relationship between government and citizens
  • His budget will propose dramatic cuts in federal environmental and education programs

Washington (CNN)President Donald Trump plans to dismember government one dollar at a time.

His first budget — expected to be unveiled later this week — will mark Trump’s most significant attempt yet to remold national life and the relationship between federal and state power.

It would codify an assault on regulatory regimes over the environment, business and education bequeathed by former President Barack Obama, and attempt to halt decades of steadily growing government reach. 

All presidential budgets are aspirational documents — and few emerge from Congress in the same shape as they arrived on Capitol Hill.

But Trump’s first budget will make more of a statement than most debut spending blueprints by other new presidents. The White House has made clear it intends to use the document to usher in the radical political changes that powered Trump’s upstart, anti-establishment campaign last year.

Continue reading “Trump’s plan to dismember government”

Trump budget will reportedly call for deep cuts to federal workforce


Trump budget will reportedly call for deep cuts to federal workforce

March 13, 2017 (Photo Credit: Manuel Balce Ceneta/AP)
More rumblings of the president’s anticipated budget cast a cloud of uncertainty for federal employees on March 13, as rumors of stark workforce cuts began to swirl.

A story from The Washington Post claims that the budget — which will be unveiled on March 16 — calls for “a historic contraction of the federal workforce,” in the form of steep cuts in discretionary spending.

Federal Times
Trump’s budget: $54B boost in defense spending at expense of civilian agencies

“This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II,” the story said.

Continue reading “Trump budget will reportedly call for deep cuts to federal workforce”

New Trump Order Will Ask Agencies to Eliminate Waste, Workforce Redundancies


New Trump Order Will Ask Agencies to Eliminate Waste, Workforce Redundancies

Pablo Martinez Monsivais/AP

President Trump on Monday will issue a new executive order tasking federal agencies with cutting waste through agency reevaluation and reorganization.

The order will require a “thorough examination” of every executive branch agency to identify “where money can be saved and services improved,” according to White House Press Secretary Sean Spicer. Part of the proposed solution could result in a federal workforce reduction, as Spicer said the review could determine there are “too many people performing a function.”

Trump and Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will ask agencies to “review themselves” to conduct the “long overdue reorganization,” Spicer said. There is no set number of programs or dollars the administration is seeking to eliminate, but the goal is to find government functions that are “bloated or duplicative or frankly just outdated or in need of technological advances.” The administration may ultimately recommend the elimination of wholesale agencies.

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Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era

Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era

Specifically citing the American Federation of Government Employees (AFGE), which represents VA staff members, Roe added that he wants to “eliminate the ability for unions to use existing grievance procedures to dispute major adverse actions,” which he said can take almost 350 days.

The disciplinary process certainly can be slow, sometimes too slow, as can democracy. But due process, a fundamental part of the democratic process, is designed to protect taxpayers, as well as employees, from a politicized government that plays favorites with services to the public and the people who perform them. Improvements to the system should reflect that, provide adequate employee response time and the resources adjudicating agencies need to improve efficiency while seeking justice.

The GOP targeting of federal employee unions was more overt in the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee. It approved legislation Friday that would sharply cut “official time.” Rep. Jody Hice (R-Ga.), the bill’s sponsor, misrepresented the practice by saying that “paying federal employees to do union work interferes with providing the services that taxpayers deserve.” Continue reading “Federal workforce early target of Trump’s ‘deconstruction’ era”

Trump budget opens new fight among Republicans

POLITICS | Mon Mar 13, 2017 | 6:37am EDT

 By Richard Cowan and Roberta Rampton | WASHINGTON

Republican U.S. Representative Todd Rokita keeps a clock hanging on the wall of his Capitol Hill office that tracks the U.S. government’s rising debt in real time and reminds him of his top priority: reining in federal spending.

“I was sent here on a fiscal note,” said the Indiana lawmaker and vice chairman of the House of Representatives Budget Committee, who rode a Republican wave during his first election to Congress in 2010.

When President Donald Trump unveils his budget for the 2018 fiscal year on Thursday, Rokita will be among many conservative Republicans cheering proposed cuts to domestic programs that would pay for a military buildup.

More moderate Republicans are less enthusiastic and worry Trump’s budget could force lawmakers to choose between opposing the president or backing reductions in popular programs such as aid for disabled children and hot meals for the elderly.

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Trump budget expected to seek historic contraction of federal workforce


March 12 at 7:47 PM

President Trump’s budget proposal this week would shake the federal government to its core if enacted, culling back numerous programs and expediting a historic contraction of the federal workforce.

This would be the first time the government has executed cuts of this magnitude — and all at once — since the drawdown following World War II, economists and budget analysts said.

The spending budget Trump is set to release Thursday will offer the clearest snapshot of his vision for the size and role of government. Aides say that the president sees a new Washington emerging from the budget process, one that prioritizes the military and homeland security while slashing many other areas, including housing, foreign assistance, environmental programs, public broadcasting and research. Simply put, government would be smaller and less involved in regulating life in America, with private companies and states playing a much bigger role.

The cuts Trump plans to propose this week are also expected to lead to layoffs among federal workers, changes that would be felt sharply in the Washington area. According to an economic analysis by Mark Zandi, chief economist for Moody’s Analytics, the reductions outlined so far by Trump’s advisers would reduce employment in the region by 1.8 percent and personal income by 3.5 percent, and lower home prices by 1.9 percent.

“These are not the kind of cuts that you can accommodate by tightening the belt one notch, by shaving a little bit off of a program, or by downsizing a few staff here or there,” said Robert Reischauer, a former director of the Congressional Budget Office. “These are cuts that would require a wholesale triage of a vast array of federal activities.”

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Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government


Meet the Hundreds of Officials Trump Has Quietly Installed Across the Government

We have obtained a list of more than 400 Trump administration hires, including dozens of lobbyists and some from far-right media.

by Justin Elliott, Derek Kravitz and Al Shaw

Clouds gather over the White House in Washington, D.C., on Feb. 25, 2017. (Nicholas Kamm/AFP/Getty Images)

The Trump Administration

ProPublica’s ongoing coverage of the 45th President.

A Trump campaign aide who argues that Democrats committed “ethnic cleansing” in a plot to “liquidate” the white working class. A former reality show contestant whose study of societal collapse inspired him to invent a bow-and-arrow-cum-survivalist multi-tool. A pair of healthcare industry lobbyists. A lobbyist for defense contractors. An “evangelist” and lobbyist for Palantir, the Silicon Valley company with close ties to intelligence agencies. And a New Hampshire Trump supporter who has only recently graduated from high school.

These are some of the people the Trump administration has hired for positions across the federal government, according to documents received by ProPublica through public-records requests.


While President Trump has not moved to fill many jobs that require Senate confirmation, he has quietly installed hundreds of officials to serve as his eyes and ears at every major federal agency, from the Pentagon to the Department of Interior.


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Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget

Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget

In this Jan. 20, 2015 file photo, a plume of steam billows from the coal-fired Merrimack Station in Bow, N.H.

A leaked version of a US Environmental Protection Agency budget proposal sent out by the Trump administration last week is dominated by cuts that would ravage the agency’s ability to function, reducing funding for many of its core programs by 20-30% each and zeroing out others altogether.

The proposed budget would also eliminate about 3,000 EPA jobs, on top of the program-funding cuts, reducing staff to numbers not seen since 1985. The agency’s science office, responsible for the research that helps set pollution standards, would “implode,” according to a senior EPA official who spoke with Science, and in several areas, like climate change mitigation and pollution reduction, budgets would be so reduced that the agency would likely be unable to do major parts of its job.

To a lesser degree, that’s been happening for a long time. The EPA’s budget—just 0.22% of the national budget—has mostly stayed flat or declined for the last 10 years, aside from a notable stimulus spike in 2010. That trend kept the EPA from fully doing its job for years, according to George Wyeth, an attorney on staff at the agency for 27 years before leaving January 2017. When he was with the EPA, he says, there wasn’t enough money or resources at times to fully implement every rule and regulation. So staff were already making decisions about what rules to not fully enforce. Continue reading “Leaked document details plan to starve an already malnourished EPA budget”

Trump Has Many Jobs Unfilled; Is He ‘Deconstructing The Administrative State’?


President Trump has hundreds of vacancies to fill but also believes many are “unnecessary.” Bloomberg/Bloomberg via Getty Images


President Trump, who still has hundreds of senior level positions to fill at nearly every federal agency told interviewers last week that “you don’t need all those jobs.”

But even if that’s the case, simply leaving posts vacant may not the best way to accomplish what adviser Stephen Bannon referred to as “deconstructing the administrative state.”

There are some 1100 political positions that require Senate confirmation, and so far Trump has nominated just a handful. None of the deputy Secretaries or undersecretaries at the Department of State have been named, for instance.

Continue reading “Trump Has Many Jobs Unfilled; Is He ‘Deconstructing The Administrative State’?”