U.S. Senator Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) released the following statement today regarding the STOCK Act, and the Senate's rejection of an amendment Dr. Coburn offered requiring the Senate to determine whether new programs are duplicative and overlapping before they are created.
"It's disappointing the Senate spent a week debating a bill that duplicates existing law and fails to address the real problems facing the country. The only way we can restore confidence in Congress is to make hard choices and solve real problems by doing things like reforming our tax code, repairing our safety net and reducing our crushing debt burden. Doing anything less will further alienate the American people, and rightfully so," Dr. Coburn said.
"I'm also disappointed the Senate rejected an amendment that would have required Congress to verify that it is not creating new programs that already exist. The Government Accountability Office has already documented approximately $217 billion in duplication and waste, yet Congress has done nothing to address that problem. For instance, GAO found there are 47 separate job training programs, 88 economic development programs, 82 teacher quality programs, and 56 financial literacy programs. The American people expect us to make the hard choices necessary to get spending under control, not spend days on public relations exercises," Dr. Coburn said.
In the next month, GAO plans to release another installment detailing more wasteful duplication.