Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Udall to Propose Measure to Trim Redundant or Wasteful Federal Programs, Save Billions in Taxpayer Dollars

GAO Report Released Today Highlights Overlap and Duplication in Multiple Federal Agencies

Today, Mark Udall announced that he plans to introduce legislation that could save taxpayers potentially hundreds of billions of dollars by cutting duplicative or wasteful government programs. The need for such a step was underscored by a Government Accountability Office report released today, which identified multiple overlapping programs that, if consolidated, could dramatically reduce administrative and overhead costs, among other savings. The duplicative programs span a range of federal government agencies from homeland security and defense to domestic food assistance and education. Udall, who has been working for several months on legislation to trim wasteful federal spending, said the report shows that Congress needs to take action now.

Udall said he plans to propose an “un-authorizing” committee to identify inefficient, low-priority spending programs or programs that share overlapping functions with others. A proposal to cut those programs could then be presented to Congress for a vote.

“This report is a wake-up call for anyone who cares about saving taxpayers money and reducing waste in the federal budget. I have no doubt that many of these programs were created with good intentions, but in too many cases, Congress has also created a redundant and wasteful bureaucracy rather than strategically targeting resources where they are needed,” Udall said. “We need to study which federal programs are needed and which can be consolidated or cut. My proposed bill to create an ‘un-authorizing’ committee would add teeth to our efforts to pare down our national budget, save taxpayers’ dollars and strengthen the economy by chipping away at the federal debt.”

Udall has long fought for smart budgeting tools – including “pay-as-you-go” budgeting, a line-item veto, a balanced budget amendment and a ban on earmarks – all of which would help reduce waste and rein in federal spending. He has called the federal debt one of the biggest national security challenges we face and believes we must take comprehensive steps to control spending and strengthen entitlement programs. To that end, he fought for the creation of the President’s commission on reducing the federal debt, and he’s among a bipartisan group of senators urging consideration of the commission’s recommendations. More information on Udall’s fight to restore fiscal responsibility in Washington is available HERE.

Udall believes these tools – combined with steps to spur innovation to help create jobs and measures to reform the broken ways in Washington – are critical to get our economy back on track and help Colorado – and the rest of the country – win the global economic race.