Congressman Marsha Blackburn (TN-7) today introduced H.R. 4295, the Consolidate Heavy-handed and Outdated Programs Act of 2012 (CHOP Act). Blackburn's legislation serves as an expanded House companion bill to S. 892, introduced last year by Senator Richard Burr (R-NC).
The CHOP Act will consolidate the Department of Energy (DOE) and the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) into a new, single agency called the Department of Energy and the Environment (DOEE). The Government Accountability Office has made clear that significant savings can be achieved through the consolidation of duplicative or fractured programs in the federal government. The goal of Blackburn's legislation is to achieve cost savings by combining duplicative functions, and to improve the administration of America's energy and environmental policies by ensuring a coordinated approach.
"If we are going to put America back on the right path to prosperity, we should start by embracing any offer by the President to cut heavy-handed and outdated regulations and programs," Blackburn said. "It's time that Washington bureaucrats finally move past rhetoric and actually take an axe to duplicative government programs that unnecessarily cost American taxpayers billions each year in redundancies and provide no added benefit. The CHOP Act would immediately pull the cord on DOE and EPA's duplicative programs and offices, finally taking them off of life support."
By consolidating offices and reducing or eliminating unnecessary programs identified by the GAO, OMB, and the President's fiscal year 2012 and 2013 budget requests, the CHOP Act could reduce wasteful spending by upwards of $5.3 billion.