U.S. Senate debates ten year sunset for federal agencies

Wednesday, September 28, 2005

United States Capitol Building, where the Senate meets

The U.S. Senate Committee on Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs has begun debating a bill [1] [2] requiring that all Governmental agencies be given a 10 year shelf life, at which time they may be reinstated by a committee appointed by the President or cease to exist within two to four years. The White House supports the proposed bill.

The senate debate will cover such issues as how difficult it will be for the President's sunset commission to recommend the elimination of an agency, and how much the public will be permitted to participate.

Many proponents of a sunset clause may not support the bill in its current form, as it extends the power of the president at the expense of congress. Some proponents hope to limit the size of either the federal government, or federal law in general, by requiring ongoing debate in congress, a feature not provided by this bill.