Fedblog FedblogFedblog
Government Executive Editor in Chief Tom Shoop, along with other editors and staff correspondents, look at the federal bureaucracy from the outside in.

It’s Hard to Kill an Agency, But Renaming One Is a Different Matter

ARCHIVES

The Trump administration’s long-promised plan to reorganize the executive branch may soon be out, according to a Wednesday report in Politico. The plan reportedly includes a major shake-up at the Health and Human Services Department, where the White House intends to consolidate safety-net programs for Americans in need. What’s more, the administration wants to change the name of the department to reflect the new responsibilities:

It’s unclear exactly how HHS would be reshuffled, but sources said its new name would emphasize programs that provide assistance to low-income Americans, potentially restoring the term “welfare” to the title of the department.

If it occurs, it wouldn’t be the first time an administration (and Congress) changed the name of an agency. HHS itself sprang from the Department of Education, Health and Welfare, which was created under President Eisenhower in 1953. (It was christened the Department of Health and Human Services in 1980, after the 1979 Department of Education Organization Act created a separate Department of Education.)

If history is any guide, it could take the public years to adjust to a new name. Take our quiz and test your knowledge of other department name changes:

FROM OUR SPONSORS
JOIN THE DISCUSSION
Close [ x ] More from GovExec