U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) today introduced a bill that would reduce the federal funding available for the acquisition and leasing of new federal vehicles by 20 percent. The legislation would save approximately $500 million by reducing the amount the federal government can spend on buying and leasing non-essential vehicles according to President Obama's debt commission, the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which also supported downsizing the federal vehicle fleet. Sens. Coburn and Shaheen introduced a similar version of the bill in the 112th Congress.
"In a time of budget constraints, federal agencies should set priorities and make sure all vehicle purchases are absolutely necessary. Using the president's own debt commission's recommendation is an easy and commonsense step towards better management of scarce financial resources," said Dr. Coburn. "This legislation directs agencies to only make necessary purchases, thereby eliminating wasteful, low-priority spending."
"Simply put, the government's vehicle budget is out of control and needs to be cut. There's no reason for some of these government agencies to own fleets of expensive SUVs, and this bill will implement common sense cuts and reforms," said Senator Jeanne Shaheen. "This is a perfect example of an area where the government can and should be able to get by with less. Now more than ever we need to rally around smart, common sense reforms like this one to rein in our spending."
According to a 2012 study by the Government Accountability Office, the number of federal vehicles, excluding postal and non-tactical military, increased about seven percent since fiscal year 2005, from 420,000 to 449,000 vehicles.