Obama sends up draft bill for reorganization authority

By Charles S. Clark

February 16, 2012

As promised, acting budget director Jeffrey Zients on Thursday sent Congress the Obama administration’s proposed legislation to widen its authority to consolidate agencies. In a letter to House Speaker John Boehner, R-Ohio, Zients said the “government needs to be leaner, smarter and more consumer-friendly to give our communities, businesses and workers the tools they need to thrive and to strengthen American competitiveness and innovation.”

In January, Obama announced that if Congress agrees to restore agency consolidation authority enjoyed by presidents from the 1930s to the 1980s, he would proceed to merge six trade and business-oriented agencies into one larger department. He also elevated on his own authority the Small Business Administration to Cabinet status.

The legislative language unveiled on Thursday for the “Reforming and Consolidating Government Act of 2012" includes provisions to:

Following an envisioned reorganization centered on the Commerce Department, the Obama administration plans additional efforts to eliminate duplication, overlap and excess overhead.

Some skepticism toward the plan was heard at a Wednesday hearing of the House Oversight and Government Reform Committee, at which Chairman Darrell Issa, R-Calif., said, “Instead of proposing serious reforms, the president offers platitudes.”


By Charles S. Clark

February 16, 2012

http://www.govexec.com/management/2012/02/obama-sends-draft-bill-reorganization-authority/41226/