U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) urged Congress today to strongly consider the findings of a Government Accountability Office (GAO) report released this afternoon on duplicative government programs as a way to responsibly cut excess federal spending. Shaheen has repeatedly called for targeted, responsible cuts to government programs as a way to responsibly rein in spending and get the country's finances in order.
"At a time when we are experiencing painful, across-the-board cuts, this GAO report shows there is a better way to reduce the deficit," Shaheen said. "As I have said before, our first step toward a comprehensive deficit solution should be eliminating outdated and unnecessary programs, and this report demonstrates that there are many opportunities for us to implement those types of responsible, targeted spending cuts. The GAO has outlined many commonsense measures that could lower spending while protecting economic recovery and critical programs, and we should seriously consider their recommendations."
The GAO specifically echoed Shaheen's call to eliminate a redundant catfish inspection program that will cost taxpayers $30 million to set up and at least $14 million annually to implement after that. Earlier this year, Shaheen introduced legislation with Senator John McCain (R-AZ) designed to abolish this waste of taxpayer dollars. The GAO also recommending limiting crop insurance premium support along the lines of the Shaheen-Toomey amendment to the 2012 Farm Bill, which would save billions of taxpayer dollars. In addition, the GAO suggested that federal agencies involved in export promotion do a better job of defining their roles, which is similar to a provision included in the Shaheen-Ayotte Small Business Export Growth Act.
Shaheen has been a strong advocate for government reform and reducing wasteful spending and has worked to eliminate outdated and redundant programs throughout her career in the Senate. Recently, Shaheen has advocated for Congress to adopt biennial budgeting which would allow for more oversight of federal spending by moving to a two year budget process; the first year would be dedicated to appropriating dollars and the second would be dedicated to oversight so that cuts, like those proposed by the GAO, could be considered and implemented. Her bipartisan Biennial Budgeting and Appropriations Act was introduced earlier this year and the concept won passage as an amendment to the Senate Budget last month.
Shaheen also joined Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK) to introduce legislation that would reduce federal funding for the acquisition and leasing of vehicles by 20 percent. The legislation would save taxpayers approximately $500 million.