Republicans say they'll look at Obama's govt. shrinking plan - KLTV.com - Tyler, Longview, Jacksonville |ETX News

Republicans say they'll look at Obama's govt. shrinking plan

WASHINGTON (AP) - Republicans in Congress seem to be at least willing to consider President Barack Obama's ideas for shrinking the government.

Obama's first suggestion is to merge six major trade and commerce agencies into a one-stop shopping department for American businesses. The Commerce Department would cease to exist.

Obama says if he's given the power, he'll do more shrinking -- citing what he says are inefficiencies all across the government.

One Republican says it's "not often" that this administration sets out to make government smaller. Fred Upton of Michigan says he hopes this will be "the first of many" suggestions to "unravel the red tape."

Obama is asking Congress to give him a kind of reorganization power that no president since Ronald Reagan has had. It would guarantee Obama a vote, within 90 days, on any idea he offers to consolidate agencies -- as long as it saves money and cuts the government.

Congress would still have the final say, but Obama would have a stronger hand to skip a lot of the outside lobbying and fighting and get right to a vote.

Pointing to what he said is senseless duplication across the executive branch, Obama said, "It has to change."

Copyright 2012 The Associated Press. All rights reserved.

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