In an attempt to salvage its consumer protection agency bill, now stalled in Congress, the White House yesterday announced a plan to abolish or consolidate into the proposed agency 26 consumer-oriented government units.
Bert Lance, director of the Office of Management and Budget, said in a letter to House Speaker Thomas P. [WORD ILLEGIBLE] O'Neill Jr. (D-Mass.) that the plan would result in a $5 million net saving.
Lance said $11.6 million would be saved from the reorganization and $8.5 million from resending the "consumer representation plans" former President Ford established last year in various agencies and executive offices. The new agency would cost $15 million the first year. About 200 workers would be affected but White House press secretary Jody Powell said at a briefing yesterday that no one would be put out of work.
"We have promised we will ot kick people out into the streets, because of reorganizations," Powell said.
Among the offices that would be folded into the new agency are the consumer affairs offices of department of State Labor, [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Treasury, Transportation and [WORD ILLEGIBLE] Education and Welfare, and [WORD ILLEGIBLE] ulatory agencies as the Federal Communications Commisioner and [WORD ILLEGIBLE] terstate Commerce Commissioner.
Esther Peterson, President Carter special assistant for consumer [WORD ILLEGIBLE] said she believed Congress [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] the consumer bill this year. [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] she based he optimism [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] consumer groups around [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] and with the congressional leaders.
"This [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] "will answer one of the major objections to the [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] level of [WORD ILLEGIBLE] and cost.
The bill has encountered [WORD ILLEGIBLE] opposition from business [WORD ILLEGIBLE] May it [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] House Government Operatives Committee, 22 [WORD ILLEGIBLE] W.Va) told Carter that [WORD ILLEGIBLE] would not consider [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] passed it.
Powell said [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] pass Congression [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] will have to consider [WORDS ILLEGIBEL] the reorganizations [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] said, "You can't have [WORDS ILLEGIBLE] other."