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Mr. HANNA. Mr. Speaker, I rise in support of H.R. 6324, the Cutting Federal Unnecessary and Expensive Leasing Act. I sponsored this legislation with my friend and colleague from Georgia (Mr. Barrow).
Mr. Speaker, this is a simple bill which takes up a recommendation of the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission to help our Federal Government operate more efficiently. The Federal Government now owns and operates over 500,000 civilian vehicles, according to the Government Accountability Office. Simpson-Bowles found that the government's annual vehicle budget is over $4 billion, and the Federal fleet has increased by 30,000 vehicles in recent years. These are staggering numbers at any time, but particularly when our national debt has surpassed $16 trillion.
Rapid advances in technologies like video conferencing and telecommuting are making travel much less necessary, not more. The National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform recommended that the Federal Government's fleet be cut and trimmed by 20 percent. The Cutting FUEL Act does just that. It requires civilian Federal agencies over the next 5 years to spend 20 percent less than their fiscal year 2010 levels on vehicles purchased and leased. The bill exempts our Armed Forces, postal service, and other vehicles which have a national security purpose as determined by the Office of Management and Budget and General Services Administration.
The bill encourages agencies to share vehicles with another agency that may need temporary or long-term use of additional vehicles. For example, if the VA required additional vehicles to meet certain program needs, the administration could task other agencies to help and assist the VA. The benefits of this bill are clear. We will be saving hundreds of millions of dollars over 10 years that are better used for deficit reduction or core agency missions. We will be reducing congestion on our roads. And because these fleets burn more than 1 million gallons of fuel each day, we will be saving fuel costs and reducing emissions. The simple reality is that we have to cut spending, and the Federal Government needs to live within its means. Buying and leasing new cars that
the government does not need and cannot afford is a waste of hard-earned taxpayer dollars.
I would also note that the Congress has capped its own spending on vehicle leases for the past 2 years, an amendment which I authored. This bill today is just another commonsense bipartisan solution to save where it makes obvious sense.
Mr. Speaker, I urge my colleagues to support this legislation.
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