Sunset Bills - Genevieve Smith, Office of Management and Budget Watch w/ Mary Glenney, WS


Chopping Block Bill Emerges – Bush’s Most Radical Plan Yet!

Genevieve Smith, Federal Regulatory Policy Analyst, Office of Management and Budget Watch. If you've got something to hide in Washington, the best place to bury it is in the federal budget. The spending plan that President Bush submitted to Congress this year contains 2,000 pages that outline funding to safeguard the environment, protect workers from injury and death, crack down on securities fraud and ensure the safety of prescription drugs. But almost unnoticed in the budget, tucked away in a single paragraph, is a provision that could make every one of those protections a thing of the past.

The proposal, spelled out in three short sentences, would give the president the power to appoint an eight-member panel called the "Sunset Commission," which would systematically review federal programs every ten years and decide whether they should be eliminated. Any programs that are not "producing results," in the eyes of the commission, would "automatically terminate unless the Congress took action to continue them." With a vote of hand-picked lobbyists, the president could terminate any federal agency he dislikes.

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