President Obama plans to ask Congress for the authority to merge six trade and commerce agencies in a move to pare redundant costs, according to a report in The Hill today.
The proposed merger is part of broader considerations to streamline government that have been under discussion by the Office of Management and Budget for a number of months, a senior administration told The Hill.
According to the report, one proposal calls for merging business and trade functions currently conducted by the Commerce Department, the Office of the U.S. Trade Representative, the Small Business Administration, the Export-Import Bank, the Overseas Private Investments Corp., and the Trade and Development Agency.
Merging those functions into a single agency would save $3 billion over 10 years by eliminating common overhead costs and human resources departments, the official told The Hill. The official also said between 1,000 and 2,000 jobs would be eliminated, but would be done through attrition.
But in order to make such a merger, the House and Senate would have to grant Obama the authority and then decide whether to approve his ideas in an up or down vote from Congress in 90 days.
The president is expected speak about his intentions on the proposal at 11:20 a.m. Friday morning, according to White House guidance given to The Hill.