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Washington

Senators introduce bill to give president streamlining tools

Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis.
Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., co-sponsored legislation to give the president power to reorganize the federal government.

On the Senate side, Sen. Ron Johnson, R-Wis., chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and Sen. James Lankford, R-Okla., chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, introduced legislation in late June that would expand executive authority to reorganize federal agencies.

Even if the legislation — The 2018 Reforming Government Act — is passed, the White House would still need congressional approval for many of its proposals, like merging the departments of Labor and Education to create the Department of Education and the Workforce.

The RGA bill would provide the administration with a streamlined way to get its proposals before Congress, but lawmakers wouldn't be required to vote on any given proposal, thereby letting it die.

A president hasn't received reorganization authority since 1984 when the Reorganization Act of 1977 expired.