Johnson, Lankford Bill Provides Administration Reorganization Authority

WASHINGTON — U.S. Sen. Ron Johnson (R-Wis.), chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and U.S. Sen. James Lankford (R-Okla.), chairman of the Subcommittee on Regulatory Affairs and Federal Management, introduced legislation Tuesday that would expand executive authority to reorganize federal agencies.

“The vast majority of people I ask believe the federal government is badly broken,” said Johnson. “That is why I am so pleased to see this administration thinking big and ‘outside the box’ to bring effective reform and reorganization to a government structure developed for the previous century.  I am happy to introduce this legislation that provides the administration the authority it will need to make the government more efficient and effective for the 21st century.”

“It is not a new concept for Congress to allow the administration the ability to reorganize federal agencies,” said Lankford. “There are a wide-range of issues to address with how the federal agencies are currently organized. We should provide the administration the capability to utilize these common-sense ideas to make agencies more efficient for the American people and the federal employees. I am pleased to join Chairman Johnson on this important piece of legislation that will allow the administration to update 20th-century services for a 21st-century public.”

The Reforming Government Act of 2018 is based on legislation introduced in 2012 by then Senator Joseph Lieberman and Senator Mark Warner.   The bill provides the Administration with authority to make structural changes at agencies, while also ensuring the Office of Management and Budget certifies that such reorganizations will result in a cost savings for taxpayers.  

Reorganization authority has been made available to presidents regularly in modern times.  Between 1932 and 1984, presidents used presidential reorganization authority that was available for a variety of purposes, submitting more than 100 plans during that time.

A copy of S. 3137, Reforming Government Act of 2018 can be found here.

The Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee has jurisdiction over government-wide reorganization under Senate Rule XXV(k).

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