Obama Seeks To Streamline Agencies, Eliminate Departments
As promised in his last State of the Union speech…
Stepping firmly onto Republican turf, President Barack Obama will announce Friday that he will ask Congress for the power to merge agencies to streamline government and improve efficiency.
First up on his list: the elimination of the Commerce Department and the Small Business Administration, which will be merged with the Office of the U.S. Trade representative and other independent business agencies into a new, unnamed Cabinet agency to create a more efficient experience for businesses.
“The government we have is not the government we need. The last reorganization of the whole government was done by Herbert Hoover,” Jeff Zients, deputy director for management and chief performance officer at the Office of Management and Budget, told reporters. “Since then, agencies have been layered on top.”
But will Republicans get on board?
They seem to be signaling they might…
“Americans want a government that’s simpler, streamlined, and secure. So after presiding over one of the largest expansions of government in history, and a year after raising the issue in his last State of the the Union, it’s interesting to see the President finally acknowledge that Washington is out of control,” said Don Stewart, a spokesman to Senate Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.). “And while we first learned of this proposal this morning in the press, we’ll be sure to give it a careful review once the White House provides us with the details of what it is he wants to do.”
Rep. Darrell Issa, another frequent critic of Obama’s, said he stands “ready to work with President Obama on proposals to reorganize federal agencies.” Issa, chairman of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, which oversees governmental reorganization, added: “While I have been disappointed that the White House has not embraced earlier bipartisan Congressional efforts seeking collaborative engagement on proposals to reorganize government, I hope this announcement represents the beginning of a sincere and dedicated effort to enact meaningful reforms.”
We shall see…