Obama pushes DC reform, Republicans hit back
January 14th, 2012
06:00 AM ET
2 years ago

Obama pushes DC reform, Republicans hit back

(CNN) – In his weekly address Saturday, President Barack Obama encouraged congressional leaders to grant him executive branch reorganization powers.

The president, echoing comments he made Friday, said he would replace the Commerce Department, rearrange lower-tier agencies and elevate the Small Business Administration to a Cabinet-level post.

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"These changes will make it easier for small business owners to get the loans and support they need to sell their products around the world," he said. "For example, instead of forcing small business owners to navigate the six departments and agencies in the federal government that focus on business and trade, we'll have one department."

With the November elections around the corner, Republicans are skeptical of the proposal.

"Given the president's record of growing government, we're interested to learn whether this proposal represents actual relief for American businesses or just the appearance of it," a spokesman for House Speaker John Boehner said on Friday.

The president pledged to limit reforms to those developing "more efficiency, better service and a leaner government," and simultaneously previewed tax code changes he debuted this week at the White House.

"I will put forward new tax proposals that reward companies that choose to do the right thing by bringing jobs home and investing in America - and eliminate tax breaks for companies that move jobs overseas," he said.

Meanwhile, urging job creation on a different front, North Dakota Sen. John Hoeven called on the White House to pave the way for construction of a controversial oil pipeline, arguing an economic and job creation case.

"This new $7 billion, 1,700-mile, high-tech transcontinental pipeline, the largest shovel-ready project in the country, would reduce our dependence on Middle East oil, help keep down the cost of energy for American consumers and businesses, and create thousands of jobs for American workers at a time when our nation so greatly needs them," he said in the GOP weekly address.

In December, Congress started a 60-day window for the Obama administration to either approve or deny the Canada-to-Gulf Coast oil pipeline. The project is generally opposed by environmentalists and favored by Republicans. The State Department says it needs more time to consider the environmental impact.

The battle lines of this week's addresses may preview those which drive Washington this month, as Congress returns from holiday recess and the president delivers his State of the Union address on Jan. 24.

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Filed under: Energy • Jobs • President Obama • Republicans • Washington D.C.
soundoff (36 Responses)
  1. Larry L

    Again, when Republicans are given the opportunity to embrace exactly the sort of initiatives they themselves typically champion, they obstruct progress for political gain. They want America to fail so their fat cats can divide the spoils. They need to realize when the middle class is totally destroyed nobody will remain to support the fabulous lifestyles the ultra-rich have acquired.

    January 14, 2012 09:46 am at 9:46 am |
  2. Fla Pete

    The pipeline company said it would sell to China if this didn't go through,holding Americans at ransom.But it backfired because Canada refused to run it across to its western seaboard for Chinese tankers to load at ports.We as Canadas neighbor will work with Obama nomatter what propaganda the Repubs feed the public ,like when Bush almost daily feed negative crap to help raise oil prices over three fold from when Clinton had set in his presidential term.Typical Repub propaganda again,scaring the people who are ill informed on this matter.

    January 14, 2012 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  3. Monster Zero

    Gosh, where would Obama ever find enough Communists and Socialists to fill all those appointment reorganization positions, wait I know, Van Jones can help.

    January 14, 2012 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  4. n

    These tea party Republican do not want to work with the president it is a shame these. Republican do not care about American people don't worry elections coming up enjoy the last few months. This is the worst Republican Congress I have seen ever they are playing a political . Shame on them

    January 14, 2012 10:17 am at 10:17 am |
  5. george of the jungle

    well gee do you really think congress will get behind the president on streamlining government? Of course not. He is beating them at their own game. They won't let him take credit for this. And that stupid pipe line they keep pushing will not create the amount of jobs they say it will and what jobs it will create are short term. We don't see any extra oil and profits stay with the oil company. Get real repos .Why don't you try putting America first for a change.

    January 14, 2012 10:23 am at 10:23 am |
  6. logicnLA

    Shovel ready is right- but it's to move the crap they are claiming out of the way.
    Change our dependence, don't change the drug source.
    We can develope alternatives in the same amount of time as we can drill and build now oil sources.

    January 14, 2012 10:24 am at 10:24 am |
  7. sensible

    Republicans in the house say, "How dare the president do something that we want done!!!"(shrink government) The republicans will surely block this, even though they want it, because a democrat is trying to accomplish it!!!

    January 14, 2012 10:37 am at 10:37 am |
  8. FIELD1stSGT

    This man Obama is a fully implemented maniac. He can not be granted full executive powers. He has already misused the executive power he does have. The only answer to our problem is to freeze him in place, or impeach him, or in other words block him from doing any more damage. We must vote him and the Democrats who are anti-American out of office.

    January 14, 2012 10:41 am at 10:41 am |
  9. sensible

    Bush was the one that grew government more than any OTHER president..... look it up!! Through the stimulis, president Obama also CUT taxes, not raised them!!!! The republicans need to stop spouting these LIES!!!
    .....and to John Hoeven......build a refinery in North Dakota!!!!! Then we will not need a leaky pipeline!!!!(They really aren't interested in energy independence for us, they want to SELL the oil to other countries. That is why they want a pipe line to the gulf!!!) It's really not that hard to understand, if you open your eyes!!!

    January 14, 2012 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  10. Dave

    Considering that it's the policies and practices of Republicans that got us into this mess, perhaps they should sit down and shut up.

    January 14, 2012 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Johnathan

    Let's watch no governemt or less government republicans say no.

    January 14, 2012 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
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