Obama plan would replace Commerce Department
President Obama announced Friday he is asking Congress for authority to make the government leaner and more efficient. Using "props", the president illustrates how businesses sometime view government as confusing.
January 13th, 2012
01:02 PM ET

Obama plan would replace Commerce Department

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President Barack Obama asked Congress on Friday for more power to streamline and reorganize the federal government, a move designed to claim the political middle ground in an election likely to be dominated by questions aboutWashington's role in the economy.

The president asked legislators to grant him "consolidation authority" to merge agencies that perform similar functions. If that authority is granted, Congress would be required to hold an up-or-down vote on the president's streamlining plan within 90 days of its submission.

Among other things, the president's plan would combine several agencies that focus on commerce and trade, including the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investment Corp. and the Trade and Development Agency. (read more on CNN /com)


Topics: Congress • President Obama

soundoff (16 Responses)
  1. Rick McDaniel

    Obama smply wants to increase his power, and become a true dictator in America. That is his real goal.

    January 13, 2012 at 1:12 pm |
    • Bob

      Next time you have an ignorant, fact-free thought.... let it go.

      January 13, 2012 at 3:32 pm |
    • jerry

      he just want to complete what he has started....which is a hnorrible mess domestically and abroad...and change the name of the WHITE house... ask spike lee and ophra...

      January 13, 2012 at 5:38 pm |
  2. Renee

    Good Job!

    January 13, 2012 at 1:34 pm |
  3. Len

    Wrong Rick. This is a GOP principle: Cut federal agencies to make government smaller and save money. The GOP and Republican Presidntial candidates are saying they would shrink government agencies. The President wants to do the exact same thing. Why will the GOP say no, simple, the President wants to to do it! Wake up America, the GOP has expanded government in the Bush/Cheney administration. This President was handed more problems than anyone realized. He has stopped us from going into a total collapse. Now he is moving forward in reducing government by collapsing govt. agencies. Didn't Romney do this with Bain Capital by reducing various companies to downside!!! Wake up America!!!

    January 13, 2012 at 1:39 pm |
  4. jean2009

    Thank you Len....to Wrong Way Rick.....Commerce is one of the two federal agencies that Rick Perry remembered , but he couldn't remember the third, and Ron Paul keeps harping about five agencies.

    The President has been trying to do this since day one, downsize employees, unload unneeded properties, and cut the bloated military budget...all of these are extremely difficult tasks in a down economy where putting people back to work is the #1 priority, and a congress that doesn't even make an effort to work with him.

    It is a sign that things are turning around when he starts to tackle this.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:07 pm |
  5. Rick

    Good, the Commece department has long been just a place to put wealthy donators as a reward. They can't do any damage there.
    Other than that its a useless agency, and has become infected with neoconservative values.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:23 pm |
  6. RichardTaylorAPP

    This is simply an attempt to preempt Ron Paul's intent to "do away completely" with useless and costly federal agencies;

    If Obama can merge the those agencies with other agencies before we can rid ourselves of them, they will become less defined and harder to remove.

    The federal government's long arrogation of power through "expounding on general phrases" such as the Welfare Clause, meant only for national defense and paying the national defense as defined in the Virginia Ratifying Convention 6-16-1788;

    This misuse of the "general phrases" of the Constitution is clearly described by James Madison and Thomas Jefferson in the Virginia and Kentucky Resolutions 1798;

    These documents are in the Suggested Reading on the American Patriot Party .CC web site.

    January 13, 2012 at 2:43 pm |
  7. Jules

    This is not an unprecedented request that has been granted so the GOP should be happy to honor this request. I so heart this president. What a guy!

    January 13, 2012 at 4:05 pm |
  8. insight iowa

    Look back to his speeches of 2008. Obama ran on making government smaller (reducing the waste and confusion). He also ran heavy on closing all loopholes (which would give the debt billions back) and shutting down earmarks. Just wait... you have seen nothing yet. Obama is for all the people, he has never ran and pretended to be for one party. Why do you think he tried to cross lines for 3 years... he respected your votes... he respected what you wanted from Washington... and now that he is tired of running in place and we are tired of watching it.. he will now take control. Republican voting straight Democrat ticket 2012.

    January 13, 2012 at 4:41 pm |
    • Joey

      The majority of citizens didn't want Obamacare and still don't, yet it was rammed through anyway. How is that respecting ALL Americans?

      January 14, 2012 at 5:27 am |
      • jean2009

        Someday Moron, you will be very thankful for the Affordable Health Insurance Act of 2009. If you think any president, or congress is going to repeal all of it you are sadly mistaken. The Rethugliklans only want to repeal the parts so as to allow insurers to cherry pick and only cover healthy people, or allow them to drop you when you are sick. Either that, or they don't care how many people die or go bankrupt from the lack of decent health coverage.

        Are you actually so ignorant that you think the Bush Administration's Part D Medicare benefit isn't a de facto mandatory insurance?

        Take for example a perfectly healthy retiring 65 year old, that needs few (if any) prescriptions. They can take the chance that for the next 25 years they will not need any prescription medications that will break the bank, and then drop dead from a bolt of lightning. However, should they come to that point where their medications are breaking the bank, and they decide to sign up for Part D, they will pay a penalty every month for the rest of their life for the Medicare Part D insurance benefit. There is a monthly penalty for not signing up for Part D when you retire and claim Social Security. And yes, just like the Affordable Health Insurance Act...persons on Part D Medicare do get to pick the prescription insurance plan they want.

        Most seniors have the wisdom to purchase Part D Medicare knowing it is just a matter of time until that prescription health meter is going to go the opposite direction. Presently, being age 76 the total for my monthly prescriptions do not add up to the cost of my monthly Part D benefit insurance...lucky me! That is okay....I will gladly pay it. My husband's costs, up until recent changes and several drugs going generic, was popping him through that bank busting Part D donut hole every year. Ouch!

        January 14, 2012 at 4:20 pm |
    • Lefty

      He's done none of that and is only mentioning it now because it's an election year. Pour yourself some more kool-aid.

      January 16, 2012 at 2:17 pm |
  9. jerry

    I knew he was replacing commerce with govt...but this? How about really reducing govt...oh wait, he just wants us to THINK he is moving to the right...too late obama fool us once and shame on us....again, well look at the results last november...NOvember NObama 2012!

    January 13, 2012 at 5:36 pm |
    • jean2009

      He is not moving to the right.
      It was his plan from the beginning to start downsizing the government once the economy started to improve, then to slowly start moving things to consolidate programs and cut costs. The Affordable Health Insurance Act of 2009 was one of the ways of consolidating and cutting costs. Simply it is something that everyone with any sense knows has to be done. We all know we can't keep funding waste everywhere at what has been the current levels, and that includes our military excesses.

      The only difference is in how it is done; that it is done in a manner so that the less fortunate in this country are not hurt in the process, that it be done responsibly. Just as troops and equipment need to be removed from combat areas responsibly so as not to lose more lives. Downsizing government will take time...spare me the idiots that want to rush in and dismantle programs that truly help people just to save a quick buck. People that many on the right don't really give a fig about.

      If you think that was not his plan, you may want to read the following quote from President Obama's 2009 inaugural address:
      "The question we ask today is not whether our government is too big or too small, but whether it works, whether it helps families find jobs at a decent wage, care they can afford, a retirement that is dignified.

      Where the answer is yes, we intend to move forward. Where the answer is no, programs will end.

      And those of us who manage the public's dollars will be held to account, to spend wisely, reform bad habits, and do our business in the light of day, because only then can we restore the vital trust between a people and their government."

      January 14, 2012 at 3:39 pm |
  10. for99percent

    I'm glad there are people still see through all the lies and Fox news propaganda. Thank you for intelligent people like insight Iowa,Jule,Jean2009, Len and millions and millions more. OBAMA 2012

    January 13, 2012 at 5:51 pm |