Congressman Dennis Ross (FL-12) today introduced Government Spending Accountability Act (HR 4472), echoing Simpson-Bowles recommendations, to bring federal travel budgets back to reality.
The GSA Act:
Reduces travel budgets of every agency 50% (from 2012 levels) for FY 2013-14
Reduces the travel budgets of every agency 75% (from 2012 levels) for FY 2015
No later than 30 days after the beginning of fiscal years 2014-2016, the head of each agency shall submit a report to the Oversight and Government Reform Committee in the House and the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee in the Senate detailing the total travel expenses paid or reimbursed by that agency.
The report shall include all dates, locations and costs of such travel.
Agencies dealing with national security and public safety are exempted.
Upon introducing this legislation, Congressman Ross said, "The GSA Vegas vacation is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to wasteful spending. In a day and age when you can FaceTime from Beijing to Washington, text and call from one end of the globe to another, and the American taxpayer faces trillion dollar deficits, spending $15 billion a year on travel is a luxury that is both no longer necessary and no longer affordable."
Congressman Ross concluded, "As the Simpson Bowles Commission pointed out, "despite advances in technology, federal travel costs have ballooned in recent years, growing 56 percent between 2001 and 2006 alone.' At the same time, budgets for all federal agencies grew at two to three times inflation from 2000 -- 2012. The American taxpayer has had enough and before we start talking about raising or changing taxes, we need to go over the federal budget piece by piece and put an end to duplicative, wasteful or downright stupid spending. Zero based budgeting, biennial budgeting, sunset committees, pension reform and so much more is needed now. This is a start worth tens of billions over ten years. This is a no-brainer."
Dennis Ross, son of Bill and Loyola Ross, was born in 1959 and raised in Lakeland, Florida. He graduated from Auburn University and the Cumberland School of Law at Samford University. He has served as in-house counsel to the Walt Disney Company and as an associate of the law firm of Holland & Knight. He previously served in the Florida Legislature from 2000 until being term limited in 2008. Dennis and his wife, Cindy Hartley, were married in 1983 and have two sons, Shane and Travis.
In the 112th Congress, Dennis serves on the Committee on Oversight & Government Reform (Chairman of the Federal Workforce, Postal Service & Labor Policy Subcommittee) as well as the Education & the Workforce and Judiciary Committees.