Energy and Water Development and Related Agencies Appropriation Act, 2013

Floor Speech

By:  Steve Chabot
Date: June 5, 2012
Location: Washington, DC

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT

Mr. CHABOT. Mr. Chairman, I introduced this amendment because it is high time that we take our debt and our deficit seriously. We no longer can afford to go on with politics as usual and continue to subsidize wasteful spending programs and policies that redistribute wealth and that really have zero economic impact.

These supposed economic development programs that are referred to in my amendment are anything but that. Instead, they're really wasteful programs that the Government Accountability Office, the GAO, has found to be duplicative. In other words, there are other bills and there are other programs that do exactly the same things. These are wasted tax dollars that do the same things over and over again. Really, they have no track record of success.

In 2009, the Congressional Budget Office and White House Office of Management and Budget found that the Denali Commission, the Appalachian Regional Commission, and the Delta Regional Authority had 29 duplicative programs--not one, not 10, not a dozen--29 that do essentially the same thing. Furthermore, Citizens Against Government Waste has found that the Denali Commission duplicates several programs in the Labor Department.

Last year, the GAO released a report detailing Federal programs that overlap and provide similar services as a supplement to its report, the title of which is ``Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue.'' In this report, the GAO revealed the names of 80 Federal economic development programs administered by four different agencies.

Surely, my colleagues in the House do not favor paying twice for the same program. Yet, Mr. Chairman, the decision to continue the funding for these regional commissions will do exactly that unless we eliminate them, which is what I am suggesting that we do by this amendment.

The taxpayers are fed up with the frivolous spending of our Federal Government. It's time that we identify wasteful programs--that's what we are doing here--and cut them. Numerous agencies and organizations have plainly stated and repeatedly recommended the dismantling of these types of programs. Congress ought to listen and heed these requests, and that's what I'm suggesting that we do in this particular legislation.

I am suggesting in here programs that affect my own area. I'm not just saying let's go into other areas around the country. The Appalachian area is an area of the country that I represent, the same general area. I'm saying let's not just do it in Alaska or out West or somewhere else. We ought to do it right at home and in my district as well. So that's what I'm suggesting is that we eliminate these programs. As I indicated, it's supported by Citizens Against Government Waste, and there are a number of other budget-cutting types of organizations that are in favor of this, so I would recommend my colleagues support this amendment.

I yield back the balance of my time.

BREAK IN TRANSCRIPT