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Posted at 2:36 PM ET, 01/27/2011

History shows Obama's effort to reorganize government could be an uphill battle

By Karen Tumulty and Ed O'Keefe

If you want to know what President Obama is up against with his pledge to reorganize the federal government, consider what happened to the last such endeavor.

In the wake of Sept. 11, 2001, nearly two dozen agencies were cobbled into the new Department of Homeland Security, to better meld and coordinate the government's resources against terrorism and other national emergencies.

But the congressional overseers of those agencies were loath to give up any of their authority. That is why DHS gets marching orders from more than 100 congressional committees and subcommittees - a number that has grown in the past seven years, despite the 9/11 Commission's recommendation that those tangled lines of authority be pared.

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By Karen Tumulty and Ed O'Keefe  | January 27, 2011; 2:36 PM ET
Categories:  Administration, From The Pages of The Post  
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Comments

It will also be an uphill battle because He doesn't actually want to do it.

Posted by: getjiggly1 | January 27, 2011 2:57 PM | Report abuse

It is in government's nature to grow and left unchecked it becomes a millstone on the taxpayer while the competing interests in the bureaucracy, vying for ever more funding, can't get much done. Lest we forget, there are a lot of contractors doing what the government workers (still there) were doing in the first place - Al Gore reinventing government with Bush and BO following his lead. Yet another sinkhole.

Posted by: jnt05334485verizonnet | January 28, 2011 3:50 AM | Report abuse

Bureacracies, by their very nature are self-perpetuating organisms. Part of their mission is to justify their reason for existing. Moreover, all of them have their own real or imagined constituencies. Since they are under the executive branch, then it is the executive (President) who must re-define their missions and reign them in. Our ongoing national deficit problem leave him very little choice to do anything else.

Posted by: PracticalIndependent | January 28, 2011 3:57 PM | Report abuse

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