Savings: $500 Million
U.S. Senators Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced a bill that would save approximately $500 million by reducing the amount the federal government can spend on buying and leasing non-essential vehicles. In its recommendations, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform (President Obama's debt commission) strongly endorsed downsizing the federal vehicle fleet. This bill would trim the federal vehicle budget by 20 percent.
"At a time when Americans have to stretch their dollars to fill up their gas tanks, it is wrong for the federal government to waste millions of dollars on non-essential federal vehicles. Enacting the recommendation of the president's own debt commission to reduce the number of vehicles deemed non-essential should be an easy step. We simply can't afford to spend money we don't have on things we don't need," Coburn said.
"This is a commonsense place for us to cut wasteful spending," Shaheen said. "The government's vehicle budget has grown considerably over the last several years, and it just doesn't make sense. There's no reason for some of these agencies to own fleets of SUVs, which are expensive to own and to operate. The government can get by with fewer vehicles."
Currently, the federal vehicle fleet includes 662,000 cars, vans, sport-utility vehicles, trucks, buses and ambulances owned or leased by federal agencies. Together, these vehicles consume approximately one million gallons of fuel per day. Since 2006, the budget for vehicles owned or leased by the federal government has increased by $1 billion. This legislation would also ask the Inspector General for each federal agency to review the use of their respective agencies vehicles as part of the effort to find further savings.