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Obama seeks power to merge federal agencies

Asking Congress to grant authority held by no president since Reagan

President Obama this morning will ask Congress to give him authority to significantly shrink the federal government by merging six agencies dealing with trade and commerce, a senior administration official said.

Obama is seeking power to propose a sweeping consolidation of agencies with overlapping duties with an eye toward saving money and improving performance, the official said. The president is asking Congress to grant him authority held by no president since Ronald Reagan.

As first reported by the Associated Press, the president will call for a vote by Congress on the request within 90 days.

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