Obama Officially asks Congress for Agency Consolidation Authority

President Barack Obama formally asked Congress last week for the authority to restructure and consolidate federal agencies as part of the Reforming and Consolidating Government Act of 2012.

“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,” wrote Acting Director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) Jeff Zients in a letter to House Speaker Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio.

The law would give Obama the ability to merge several business- and trade-related agencies, including components of the Small Business Administration (SBA), the Commerce Department and the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, Obama has said.

“There is too much duplication and fragmentation that make it difficult for firms, and especially small businesses, to get the assistance they need,” Zients wrote. “Now is the time to consolidate and reorganize these agencies and several other related programs into one department with one website, one phone number, and one mission – helping American businesses succeed.”

The law would require that any proposed consolidation plan reduce the number of agencies or cut costs and would ensure that Congress has full input by allowing for a yes-or-no vote on the consolidation plan.

Unless reauthorized by lawmakers, the law would only give the reorganization authority for two years, Zients wrote.

The letter is available here.

Posted in General News

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