(Andrew Harrer/BLOOMBERG)

- “We live in a 21st century economy, but we’ve still got a government organized for the 20th century. Our economy has fundamentally changed – as has the world – but the government has not. The needs of our citizens have fundamentally changed but their government has not. Instead, it has often grown more complex.”

- “There are five different entities dealing with housing; more than a dozen agencies involved in food safety. And my favorite example, which I mentioned in last year’s State of the Union Address. As it turns out, the Interior Department is in charge of salmon in fresh water, but the Commerce Department handles them in saltwater. Apparently, this all had something to do with President Nixon being unhappy with his Interior Secretary for criticizing the Vietnam War.”

- “Today, I am calling on Congress to reinstate the authority that past presidents have had to streamline and reform the Executive Branch....Congress first granted this authority to presidents in the midst of the Great Depression, so that they could swiftly reorganize the Executive Branch to meet the changing needs of the American people. For the next 52 years, presidents were able to streamline or consolidate the Executive Branch by submitting a proposal to Congress that was guaranteed a simple up or down vote. But in 1984, while Ronald Reagan was President, Congress stopped granting that authority.”

- “When this process was left to follow the usual Congressional pace, not surprisingly, it slowed down. when this process was left to follow the usual Congressional pace, not surprisingly, it slowed down. Congressional committees fought to protect their turf. Lobbyists fought to keep things unchanged because they’re the only ones who can navigate the bureaucracy. And because it’s always easier to add than to subtract in Washington; inertia prevented any real reform from happening. Layers kept getting added on. The Department of Homeland Security was created to consolidate intelligence and security agencies but Congress didn’t consolidate on its side. DHS right now reports to over 100 different Congressional panels. That’s excessive.”

- “Today, I’m outlining changes we could make if Congress gives the green light to allow us to modernize and streamline...Right now, there are six departments and agencies focused primarily on business and trade in the federal government – from the Commerce Department to the Small Business Administration to the U.S. Trade Representative’s office. Six. In this case, six isn’t better than one. It’s redundant and inefficient. With the authority I am requesting today, we could consolidate them all into one department with one website, one phone number and one mission – helping American businesses succeed.”

- “As of today, I’m elevating the Small Business Administration to a cabinet-level agency. Karen Mills, who’s been doing a terrific job leading that agency, will make sure that small business owners have their own seat at the table in my Cabinet meetings.”

- “In the coming weeks we’ll also unveil a new website – Business USA. This site will be a one-stop shop for small businesses and exporters, consolidating the information that’s right now spread across a number of government sites so that it’s all in one place that’s easy to search.”

- “With or without Congress, I’m going to keep at it. I’m hopeful it’s with Congress because this is an area where we can receive bipartisan support, because making our government more responsive, strategic and leaner should not be a partisan issue.”