Davis moving on fast track authority

The new chairman of the House Government Reform Committee said March 18 that he wants to give the executive branch permanent reorganization authority.

Rep. Tom Davis (R-Va.) told the Council for Excellence in Government, a nonpartisan, nonprofit group, that he intends to move legislation on the matter to the House floor.

The bill would grant expedited powers for the Bush administration to recommend changes to the structure of government agencies and departments, also called fast track authority.

Lawmakers and the White House haggled over the issue in the months leading up to the creation of the new Homeland Security Department — a consolidation of 22 agencies.

"Nobody wants to lose committee jurisdiction," Davis said, explaining the resistance to giving the president reorganization authority.

The issue is one of several that Davis has laid out in recent weeks as top policy priorities for the House Government Reform Committee. He has also emphasized the need for civil service and acquisition reform.

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