Today, the U.S. House of Representatives passed a bill sponsored by U.S. Rep. Richard Hanna (NY-24) to cut the amount the federal government can spend on buying and leasing cars over the next five years. This legislation would save more than $800 million per year.
Rep. Hanna introduced H.R. 6324, the Cutting Federal Unnecessary and Expensive Leasing (Cutting FUEL) Act in an effort to help the federal government operate more efficiently and cost-effectively. The bill requires civilian federal agencies to spend 20 percent less than their Fiscal Year 2010 level on vehicle purchases and leases for the next five years.
Exempted from the bill are the Department of Defense, Postal Service, and other vehicles which have a national security purpose. The bill also encourages agencies to share excess vehicles with another agency that may need temporary or long-term use of additional vehicles.
"The benefits of this bill are clear," Rep. Hanna said. "We will save hundreds of millions of dollars that are better used for deficit reduction or core agency missions. We will be reduce congestion on our roads. And because the federal fleet burns more than 1 million gallons of gas each and every day -- we will be saving on fuel costs and reducing emissions."
Rep. Hanna also wrote a law, which has been in effect for two years, to cap Congressional spending on vehicle leases at $1,000 a month.
The Cutting FUEL Act acts on a recommendation from the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles commission. The federal government now owns and operates almost 500,000 civilian vehicles. Simpson-Bowles found that the government's annual vehicle budget is nearly $4 billion dollars and the federal fleet has increased by almost 30,000 in recent years.
"These are staggering numbers at any time, but especially when our national debt has surpassed $16 trillion," Rep. Hanna said. "Now is the time for Democrats and Republicans to come together and save where it makes sense. I am pleased my colleagues supported this bipartisan legislation to rein in our spending."
The Cutting FUEL Act was co-sponsored by Rep. John Barrow (D-Georgia). It is the fifth bill sponsored by Rep. Hanna to pass the House during his first term.