Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Senators Hatch and Udall want to target wasteful government programs

U.S. Sens. Orrin Hatch (R-Utah) and Mark Udall (D-Colo.) introduced legislation today that would create a Committee to Reduce Government Waste. The Committee would be dedicated to saving taxpayers billions of dollars by cutting ineffective and redundant federal programs instead of raising taxes.

'Many government programs were created with good intentions, but in too many cases, Congress has also created other redundant and sometimes wasteful programs rather than strategically targeting resources where they are needed,' Udall said. 'An ‘un-authorizing' committee would add teeth to our efforts to streamline our government, pare down our national budget, save taxpayers' dollars and strengthen the private economy by making sure the government is as lean as ever.'

There is a lot of waste to cut, according to a General Accounting Office (GAO) report released earlier this week. The GAO concluded billions of dollars could be slashed from the federal budget by eliminating duplicative government programs. For instance, the GAO found the federal government has 80 economic-development programs, 44 employment and training programs and five agencies within the Department of Transportation that operate 100 surface-transportation programs.

As outlined by Hatch and Udall, the Committee to Reduce Government Waste would submit a report to the Senate at least once a year that identified underperforming and wasteful government programs in need of cuts or elimination. The committee's recommendations would receive expedited consideration in the Senate. It would be comprised of 12 members, four from each of the Senate Finance, Appropriations and Budget committees. The Senate Majority and Minority leaders would each pick six members. Each member's service would be limited to six years.

The resolution is supported by Americans for Tax Reform and its affiliate, the Center for Fiscal Accountability.

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