President Obama announced that he will ask Congress for the power to merge agencies to streamline government and improve efficiency.
First up on his list is the merger of the Commerce Department, the Small Business Administration, the Office of the U.S. Trade representative and other independent business agencies into a new, unnamed cabinet agency to create a more efficient experience for businesses.
The president said six agencies focus on business and trade. "In this case, six isn't better than one," he said. "With the authority I am requesting today, we could consolidate them all into one department with one website, one phone number and one mission -- helping American businesses succeed."
The White House said the plan would save up to $3 billion over 10 years. Between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs could be eliminated in the merger, but the reductions would take place through attrition.
The president will need the cooperation of Congress to enact his proposal.