Obama seeks power to merge government agencies
The GOP reaction should be interesting.
President Barack Obama on Friday took aim at his government’s own messy bureaucracy, prodding Congress to give him greater power to merge agencies and promising he would start by collapsing six major economic departments into one. Pressing Republicans on one of their own political issues, Obama said it was time for an “effective, lean government.”
Obama wants the type of reorganizational authority last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. Obama’s version would be a so-called consolidation authority allowing him to propose only mergers that promise to save money and shrink government. The deal would help Obama considerably by entitling him to an up-or-down vote from Congress in 90 days.
Still, final say would remain with lawmakers, both on whether to grant Obama this fast-track authority and then in deciding whether to approve any of his specific ideas.
“We can do this better,” Obama declared in an event with business owners at the White House, even presenting slides to help make his case.
“So much of the argument out there all the time is up at 40,000 feet, these abstract arguments about who’s conservative or who’s liberal,” Obama said. “Most Americans — and certainly most small business owners — you guys are just trying to figure out how do we make things work, how do we apply common sense. And that’s what this is about.”