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Friday, January 28, 2005

Talking to the People
(before talking to Congress)


Congress not in loop on administration's reform plans

By Paul Singer, CongressDailyPM
January 27, 2005


White House officials are planning a major overhaul of the way Congress oversees federal agencies, but they seem to have briefed the press before they briefed lawmakers.

Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Clay Johnson briefed a handful of reporters Wednesday afternoon on a series of proposals that will be included in the president's fiscal 2006 budget, including legislation to create two new commissions to oversee the shutdown or overhaul of government programs that have outlived their usefulness.

Under one proposal, federal programs would be presumed to expire after 10 years unless a commission voted to extend them.

Under the other plan, a commission would propose major overhauls of federal programs on a particular subject, and Congress would be bound to fast-track consideration of the proposals.
( continued )

Let's see, political hack Henry Waxman, D-Calif is already against a program that has, yet, to be introduced or detailed to his office. However, he can, somehow, conjure up enough elements to state that it would " be a field day for corporate lobbyists and put our most important health and safety programs in jeopardy."

I admire the psychic abilities of the anti-Bush politicians. They are truly a marvel.

The program in question is an initiative charged to the Office of Management & Budget by the President to throw out the "deadwood" government entitlement programs. You heard that correctly, the President has been on a tear of late in what could be perceived as the return of a "fiscal Conservative" to the White House. There wasn't a lot of that in the first term of President Bush. However, the second term got an early "fiscal Conservative" boost when the OMB sent a warning letter to the Congress stating in no uncertain terms that a failure to push the President's Outsourcing and privatization of government contracts initiative would result in a veto.

The result was Rep. Chris Van Hollen, D-Md., and Sen. Barbara Mikulski, D-Md. watching the rest of the Congress drop the issue, and their charges, the Labor Unions taking it on the chin. A veto was not necessary, as the majority party (Republicans) jumped right in line with the privatization initiative. Incidentally, that tends to be the strategy used by the White House to get things done. If you have the majority party, by all means, use that advantage. As a result, those detractors, who have gone from far left liberal, belly up to the entitlement feeding trough, are forced to resort to a disingenuous position that "George Bush never met a Bill he didn't like." Perhaps someone ought to look closer and see just who's sending those bill initiatives into Congress in the first place. Democrat Rep. Charles Rangel is the only politician I've ever seen vote against his own Bill.

George Will was uncanny in his pre-election piece indicating the "anxiety and fury" held by Democrats at the time. Will went down a laundry list of items that he anticipated the Bush Administration chasing in the second term and why that played horribly to the existence of the Democratic Party. Included was the application of Tort Reform, Privatization of Government work and positions, School Choice, Welfare Reform, Defined private investment on Social Security. Within the last three months there have been rumblings concerning the upcoming focus on Tort Reform. However, the application of privatization within the Fed. has already hit it's stride. As indicated previously on this blog (here and over here ) privatization is being installed under the media radar, more than likely, because it has shown success to the current administration over the last two years. In 2003 and 2004, open source bidding has saved in excess of $2.4 Billion in taxpayer funds.

Getting back to Rep. Waxman and his criticism of the latest endeavor of the President, of which the Congressman has yet to be briefed; there's something very telling in how the general information on the new initiative made its way out of the darkness.


The Office of Management and Budget Deputy Director Clay Johnson briefed a handful of reporters Wednesday afternoon on a series of proposals that will be included in the president's fiscal 2006 budget, including legislation to create two new commissions to oversee the shutdown or overhaul of government programs that have outlived their usefulness.
( link )

Did you get that?

The OMB briefed the press (in effect, the people) before they briefed the Congress. This reflects the President's off the cuff remark to the press yesterday when a snide reporter asked how he was going to find common ground with the likes of Teddy Kennedy and Hillary Clinton. He simply stated that he would "talk to the American people."

And so he does.

Linked to the Traffic Jam at OTB

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