President Obama has asked Congress to reinstate his authority to reorganize and consolidate numerous federal agencies. But while some lawmakers in Congress support the idea, others—even some leading Democrats—have reservations.
In announcing his proposal on Jan. 13, Obama said that having the reorganization authority would allow him to streamline duplicative agencies and create a government that "works better." He said he would first use the power to consolidate six agencies that focus on business and trade. Those agencies include the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative (USTR) and parts of the Commerce Dept.
Senate Finance Committee Chairman Max Baucus (D-Mont.) and House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Dave Camp (R-Mich.) don't like the idea of merging USTR into a new entity. They said, "Taking USTR … and making it just another corner of a new bureaucratic behemoth would hurt American exports and hinder American job creation."