Friday, January 13, 2012

Obama Wants Closing of Commerce Department

Now Obama wants a smaller government??? Shaking my head......And it had to happen during an election year....

(Chicago Tribune) WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama will ask Congress on Friday for authority to close the Commerce Department and create a new export agency, an overhaul that could save $3 billion and help inoculate him against Republican election-year charges that he is a big-government liberal.

White House budget official Jeffrey Zients told reporters the reorganization would fold together the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative and other trade bodies now spread across Washington, giving businesses a single point of contact and ensuring federal spending goes further to boost exports.

Obama was set to deliver remarks at 11:20 a.m. on the new, yet-to-be-named department that would be tasked with achieving his goal of doubling exports in five years, a key part of his economic agenda as the November presidential vote nears.

The Democrat was expected to cast it as an effort to make the government leaner and more efficient, reducing bureaucracy for export-oriented companies.

The proposal - the first of a series of consolidation steps Obama is expected to pursue - comes amid growing concerns about huge federal deficits and the size of the government.

Obama wants to put the USTR, the U.S. Export-Import Bank, Overseas Private Investment Corp, the Trade and Development Agency, the Small Business Administration and parts of the Commerce Department under a new roof - something that has been under discussion for years.

Last March, he asked White House budget officials to examine whether to merge the groups as a way to save money and ensure that U.S. export promotion is as efficient as possible.

A White House official said on Friday the goal of the consolidation was to save $3 billion over 10 years. It may also lead to the loss of 1,000 to 2,000 jobs through attrition, the official said.