Barack Obama proposes slashing agencies to cut deficit

Mr Obama asked Congress to give him a kind of reorganisation power that no
president has had since Ronald Reagan, a Republican icon.

It would guarantee Mr Obama a vote, within 90 days, on any idea he should
offer to consolidate agencies, provided the idea would save money and reduce
the size of government.

It would be up to lawmakers, therefore, to grant the President this fast-track
authority and then decide whether to approve any of his specific ideas.

His initial proposals are expected to come at the loss of 1,000 – 2,000 jobs,
losses likely to be absorbed by natural wastage rather than redundancies.

Politically, Mr Obama is seeking advantage on the turf often owned by
Republicans: Smaller government.

He is attempting to directly counter Republican arguments that accuse him of
presiding over the kind of regulation, spending and debt that can undermine
the economy: a dominant theme of this year’s debate and one often cited by
his potential re-election rival, Republican Mitt

His first target would be to merge six major trade and commerce agencies into
a one-stop-shopping department for American businesses. The Commerce
Department would be among those that would cease to exist.

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