Trump signs executive order to cut government waste

Trump signs executive order to cut government waste
© Getty Images

President Trump signed an executive order Monday aimed at cutting waste in the federal government. 

Trump signed the measure in the Oval Office, telling reporters it requires a “thorough examination of every executive department and agency” to find out “where money is being wasted [and] how services can be improved.”

The order does not seek a set amount of cuts, but it could result in a push to eliminate entire federal agencies or dramatically cut the size of the federal workforce. 

ADVERTISEMENT
Office of Management and Budget Director Mick Mulvaney will oversee a governmentwide review, which will involve outside experts as well as federal officials. 

The president, flanked by his Cabinet secretaries, said the order would “develop a detailed plan to make the federal government ... more efficient and very, very cost productive.”

Agency heads are instructed to provide their recommendations within six months to Mulvaney, who would submit them to Congress before implementation.

This executive order is part of the administration’s aggressive push to shrink the federal government. 

During his first 50 days in office, Trump has issued a flurry of executive actions and pieces of legislation that have resulted in the repeal or delay of more than 90 regulations issued under President Obama on everything from the financial industry to the environment. 

Trump is expected to release a budget blueprint on Thursday that calls for massive, across-the-board cuts to federal agencies to pay for a major military buildup. 

The cuts could reduce funds for climate change research, conservation funding, foreign aid, support for public housing and the size of the federal workforce.  

Presidential budgets usually amount to nothing more than a starting point for Congress, and critics in both parties say Trump’s plan contains cuts that are too deep and ignores entitlement programs that are the main driver of the national debt. 

But Trump has repeatedly indicated that he wants to take an ax to the federal government, something that could spark major controversy in the weeks and months ahead. 

Monday’s executive order could kick-start the reduction of the number of federal workers, a process that would fuel Trump’s ongoing battle with the bureaucracy he was elected to lead.