Obama asks Congress for power to streamline government

Reuters News
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Posted: Jan 13, 2012 11:44 AM
Obama asks Congress for power to streamline government

WASHINGTON (Reuters) - President Barack Obama asked Congress on Friday for sweeping authority to consolidate trade and business-related parts of the federal government to untangle what he called an "outdated bureaucratic maze" and help boost exports.

Obama, in an appearance at the White House, proposed merging six departments and agencies into one, a move that would effectively eliminate the Commerce Department. The initiative appeared aimed at countering Republicans' election-year efforts to paint him as a big-government liberal.

"With this authority, we'd help businesses grow, save businesses time and save taxpayer dollars," he said.

(Reporting By Matt Spetalnick)