While the Senate debates legislation to increase the national debt, Dr. Coburn has offered an amendment to stop the debt increase and immediately reduce federal spending. Specifically, the amendment would alleviate the need to increase the national debt by rescinding at least $120 billion by consolidating more than 640 duplicative government programs, cutting wasteful Washington spending, and returning billions of dollars of unspent money. The amendment will be debated this week and early next week. Sixty votes are required to approve the amendment.
As a candidate for president in 2008, Barack Obama pledged to "spend taxpayer money wisely," and specifically to "eliminate wasteful redundancy," stating that "too often, federal departments take on functions or services that are already being done or could be done elsewhere within the federal government more effectively. The result is unnecessary redundancy and the inability of the government to benefit from economies of scale and integrated, streamlined operations."
Unfortunately, little has been done in the last year to accomplish these goals as spending and the number of new government programs have increased. Last year, Congress approved enormous increases in federal spending, an average increase of 12% across the board. Because of Congress out of control spending, the U.S. national debt increased more than $4 billion every day in the past year. While most of the country faces tough financial times and tax revenues have declined, Congress continues to approve double-digit spending increases for bloated federal agencies wrought with duplication, waste, abuse, and mismanagement of taxpayer funding.
This amendment would accomplish what the president has pledged and what the American people expect by consolidating more than 640 duplicative federal programs, reducing excessive and unnecessary spending and saving approximately $120 billion.