Each year the federal government spends trillions of dollars, billions of which are wasted on duplicative, inefficient, or ineffective government-run programs. So far this year, the House has passed more than $950 billion in new government spending. Congress simply must show the American people it is serious about protecting their hard-earned tax dollars and should adhere to more responsible budgeting that millions of Minnesota's families practice every month.
We also must instill accountability throughout the appropriations process and shed more light on taxpayer spending for congressional "earmark" projects. I have taken a bipartisan pledge to not seek any earmarks this year and am working with like-minded Republicans and Democrats to reform this system which has become little more than a political favor factory at taxpayer expense. I am also a cosponsor of H. Res. 479 which would ensure all earmarks, including those in tax and authorizing bills, are disclosed to the public and subject to being challenged on the House floor. And I am a cosponsor of legislation which would authorize a "presidential line item veto," a tool which would allow the President to identify wasteful and reckless spending provisions in legislation and cut them out.
I believe it is critical that we restore the faith of the American taxpayers and have introduced legislation, H.R. 3958, the Truth in Accounting Act, to require the government to fully disclose its long-term, unfunded spending obligations - money Congress has already agreed to spend in future years. In addition to the annual budget deficit, this number will tell us how much Congress must reform current policies to put us back on a sustainable fiscal track for today's and future generations.