Obama presses for agency consolidation

Roughly a month after announcing plans to seek authority to consolidate agencies, President Barack Obama has now sent Congress the Consolidating and Reforming Government Act of 2012, which would reinstate the power to reorganize the federal government.

The proposal includes a new requirement that any reorganization plan must save money or decrease the size of government, according to a White House statement. The act also would provide Congress a process to quickly hold an up-or-down vote on reorganization plans.

“This authority is essential to creating a 21st-century government that is fiscally responsible, works ever more efficiently and effectively for the American people, and helps make America more competitive,” Jeffrey Zients, deputy director for management at the Office of Management and Budget, wrote in a Feb. 16 letter accompanying the act addressed to House Speaker John Boehner.

Obama announced in January that if granted the authority to reorganize government – which previous presidents have held -- he would merge six business and trade agencies and several other related programs into one entity. The consolidation would save $3 billion over 10 years and cut 1,000 jobs, according to the administration.

Zients also told reporters in January that once Obama has the consolidation authority, there will be other proposals that address fragmentation within the government and further initiatives to save money and boost efficiency.



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Camille Tuutti is a former FCW staff writer who covered federal oversight and the workforce.

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Reader comments

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 San Diego

We could start with firing each and every "Czar". Then move on to every new agency in the last 40 years; DHS, Dept. of Education, Interior, EPA, etc., etc. Drop their funding to ZERO! Then, if it were me, I'd do one complete year of zero-based budgeting. Drop EVERYONE's budget to zero and then tell them to justify---IAW the CONSTITUTION---exactly WHY they should exist in the first place. My other plan to save money is to IMMEDIATELY stop paying ANY elected official a retirement. They're elected to SERVE; NOT be given a free ride for the rest of their lives after a few years of "service". There are far too many other options like normal everyday Americans have like 401Ks, Soc. Sec., etc. That would be sort of "self-term-limiting" plus save millions.

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 William DC

Cut cut cut, please. Doesn't really matter who does it or how they do it. My great grand children can't afford this level of spending.

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 Teresa Providence, RI

So, does this also mean that all of those useless new departments he created will be consolidated as well? C'mon...that'll be the day that the government loses 1000 jobs and those jobs don't get shifted around somewhere else in government.

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 Vern San Diego

Agree 200% with not giving this President more power. We should be going the other way. He's a Chicago thug. He wants to "own" every government give-away program and every potential voter out there so he can demand your loyalty---and vote---or he'll crush you. He is the living embodiment of the saying: "Power corrupts; absolute power corrupts absolutely"!

Tue, Feb 21, 2012 JimO

Obama's plan to streamline things would be believable if it weren't for all the "Czars" he created. He's just not telling the truth.

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