President Carter's government reorganization planners have proposed cutting the White House staff by up to 145 persons and making an even larger cut in the executive office of the President, including the wholesale elimination of some agencies, informed sources said yesterday.
Agencies slated for elimination under the reorganization plan, the sources said, include the Economic Policy Group, the Energy Resources Council, the Federal Property Council the Office of Telecommunications Policy and the Foreign Intelligence Advisory Board.
In two other areas, the reorganizers have suggested elimination of the Council on Wage and Price Stability or transferring some of its functions to the Council of Economic Advisers, and the elimination of the Council of Environmental Quality or the transferring of some of its functions to the Interior Department.
The President is to meet this morning with Office of Management and Budget Director Bert Lance and members of OMB's government reorganization staff to discuss these and other options.
Carter received the recommendations last Friday, and has promised to submit to Congress by July 15 a plan to reorganize the executive office of the President.
Under the reorganization authority Congress approved earlier this year, the plan will automatically go into effect unless vetoed by the House or Senate within 60 days of its submission.
The executive office of the President includes the White House staff plus related operations such as Vice President Mondale's staff, the National Security Council, the Domestic Council, OMB and various boards, councils and commissions that are directly under the President's authority.
What finally emerges in the reorganization plan is likely to be watched closely because it will be the first in a series of plans to be submitted to Congress and because of Carter's pledge - as yet unfulfilled - to cut the size of the White House staff by 30 per cent.
Sources familiar with the recommendations said they would slash the authorized size of the White House staff from 485 to 340 to 350. The staff now numbers close to 580, but some 100 of these persons are classified as temporary workers who will return to other government agencies in time.
Overall, the sources said, the size of the executive office of the President would be cut from 1,712 to somewhere between 1,415 and 1,470.
From the outline of the recommendations as described by various sources, none of the President's senior advisers will emerge from the reorganization substantially strengthened or weakened. But some are likely to fare better than others.
For example, the Domestic Council now functions, in effect, as the staff of Stuart Eizenstat, Carter's chief domestic policy adviser. Under one option proposed to the President, the Domestic Council's functions would be broadened, for example, by absorbing into it the White House office of Science and Technology Policy.
Similarly, the NSC staff, headed by Zbigniew Brzezinski, would suffer only a minor cut, while Mondale's staff would not be touched at all.
According to the sources, these are some of the other likely areas where cuts will be made if the President follows the recommendations:
Hamilton Jordan, Carter's chief political adviser, would lose two staff assistants. One source said that earlier during the reorganization planning there was an attempt to make Jordan, in effect, the White House chief of staff, tying all major functions into his office. But Jordan resisted this and as a result his functions will not change dramatically as a result of the reorganization, the source said.
Press Secretary Jody Powell would lose four aides from his operation - two from among those who prepare the daily news summary and two from the speechwriting office, which is also under Powell.
Congressional relations chief Frank Moore would lose six aides. But this proposed cut may be less drastic than it appears, because Moore's office also includes the White House visitors unit and other functions not directly related to lobbying Congress.
White House counsel Robert Lipshutz would lose two aides as would Cabinet secretary Jack Watson Jr., while Margaret (Midge) Costanza's public liaison office would lose three aides.
The White House Council on Drug Abuse and Mental Health, headed by one of Carter's first supporters, Dr. Peter Bourne, would be eliminated immediately or after one year.
The OMB staff of some 700, largest unit in the executive office of the President, would be reduced by about 80.
The sources said that more than half of the proposed 145-person cut in the White House staff would come from its operating and support units rather than from among the political appointees. The exact cuts in the operating and support staffs could not be determined.
The reorganization has already produced some in-fighting within the White House.
For example, earlier recommendation called for three Carter aides with vaguely defined duties - Greg Schneiders, Martha (Bunny) Mitchell and Joseph Aragon - to be placed under Watson's jurisdiction.
But when that met resistance, it was changed to a suggestion that the three be attached to some other unit within the White House, but not necessary to Watson's office.
In some cases, the proposed staff reductions would he accomplished by transferring people to other government agencies. But in other cases, jobs would simply be eliminated.
One White House official said yesterday he was certain the President will honor his pledge that no government worker will lose his or her job because of reorganization.
But no sources said they were aware of procedures established to guarantee jobs to those eliminated from the White House or the executive office of the President.