This might set up a really interesting fight that could emphasis the hypocrisy of the GOP:
President Barack Obama will ask Congress on Friday for greater power to shrink the federal government, and his first idea is merging six sprawling trade and commerce agencies whose overlapping programs can be baffling to businesses, a senior administration official told The Associated Press.
Obama will call on Congress to give him a type of reorganizational power last held by a president when Ronald Reagan was in office. The Obama version would be a so-called consolidation authority allowing him to propose mergers that promise to save money and help consumers. The deal would entitle him to an up-or-down vote from Congress in 90 days.
It would be up to lawmakers, therefore, to first grant Obama this fast-track authority and then decide whether to approve any of his specific ideas.
For being some “big government” Democrat, President Obama sure seems to be wanting to downsize which is something we haven’t seen since Reagan.
So what would be changed?
Should he prevail, Obama’s first project would be to combine six major operations of the government that focus on business and trade.
They are: the Commerce Department’s core business and trade functions; the Small Business Administration; the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative; the Export-Import Bank; the Overseas Private Investment Corporation; and the Trade and Development Agency. The goal would be one agency designed to help businesses thrive.
The official said 1,000 to 2,000 jobs would be cut, but the administration would do so through attrition; that is, as people routinely leave their jobs over time.
The administration said the merger would save $3 billion over 10 years by getting rid of duplicative overhead costs, human resources divisions and programs.
So six combined into one. That’s a reduction of five agencies. Remember when Rick Perry had trouble naming even three?
I can’t wait to start hearing what the GOP does say about this idea. There hasn’t been anything yet. My guess is they are trying to figure out a way to oppose it without looking like they are opposing the downsize of government. Kudos to Obama for putting them on the ropes with this announcement.
And just that fast we see the start of the meme for opposing this, courtesy of Drudge:
So trying to downsize government and make it run more efficient will be considered a “power grab” by the Republicans. That’s pretty amazing coming from a party that also pushes for an imperial presidency.