President Donald Trump speaks during a cabinet meeting at the White House, Thursday, June 21, 2018, in Washington. (AP Photo/Evan Vucci)

The Latest: Interior links reorganization plan to Obama

June 21, 2018 - 4:16 pm
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WASHINGTON (AP) — The Latest on the Trump administration's proposal to reorganize the federal government (All times local):

4:10 p.m.

The Trump administration is citing an endorsement from unlikely source — former President Barack Obama — as it touts a plan to reorganize the federal government.

One element of the plan announced Thursday would transfer the National Marine Fisheries Service to the Interior Department and essentially merge it with the Fish and Wildlife Service, another Interior agency.

Obama made a similar proposal in his first term. In his 2011 State of the Union address, Obama said Interior handles salmon in fresh water, while the Commerce Department oversees the fish in saltwater. He added, "I hear it gets even more complicated once they're smoked."

Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke tweeted a link to Obama's speech and said the new proposal would result in more consistent federal policies on fisheries and wildlife.

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12:50 p.m.

President Donald Trump's budget director is presenting a plan to overhaul the federal government during a Trump Cabinet meeting.

Mick Mulvaney, the director of the Office of Management and Budget, tells Trump and the Cabinet that it has been nearly a century since anyone reorganized the federal government at this scale. He says the U.S. is still dealing with a government from the early 20th century.

Trump is calling it the "drain the swamp Cabinet meeting," a reference to one of his major campaign pledges.

The plan calls for merging the education and labor departments and moving the federal food stamp program to the Department of Health and Human Services and renaming that agency.

Many of the changes would require approval from Congress.

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11:45 a.m.

The Trump administration is proposing a major reorganization of the federal government.

The plan includes merging the departments of education and labor, moving the federal food stamp program to the Department of Health and Human Services and renaming that agency.

The Office of Management and Budget wants to have the Defense Department take over the background check process, which has come under intense scrutiny in recent months.

Many of the proposals would require approval from Congress.

The recommendations are the result of a presidential order signed by President Donald Trump in March 2017 calling for a review of the federal government aimed at identifying redundancies and streamlining agencies.

OMB Director Mick Mulvaney tells The Associated Press in an interview that the effort is part of the president's "drain the swamp agenda."

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