On Wednesday at 10:00 a.m., the Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee will hold a hearing on "Luxury Jets and Empty Prisons: Wasteful and Duplicative Spending at the Department of Justice." As the March 1 sequestration deadline approached, Attorney General Eric Holder dramatically warned that the Justice Department would be forced to make cuts that threaten the safety of all Americans. However, the House Judiciary Committee has examined recent expenses at the Justice Department and has found several examples of wasteful and duplicative spending, all of which are paid for by the American taxpayer. Examples include hundreds of millions of dollars for conferences, an FBI Unit that uses resources to help Hollywood make TV shows and movies, the use of luxury private jets by political appointees for personal reasons, $10,000 pizza parties and $12 coffees, and the $165 million purchase of an empty, unused prison.
House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va.) and Crime, Terrorism, Homeland Security, and Investigations Subcommittee Chairman Jim Sensenbrenner (R-Wis.) released the following statements in advance of Wednesday's Subcommittee hearing.
Chairman Goodlatte: "With our national debt over $16 trillion, no one can deny that our government has a spending problem. All of our federal agencies, including the Justice Department, must be looking for ways to tighten their belts by eliminating inefficient and duplicative spending from their bottom lines. During these tough budgetary times, there is no reason that the Justice Department should be using taxpayer dollars to provide $12 coffees at conferences and purchase new prisons when others sit empty."
Crime Subcommittee Chairman Sensenbrenner: "Waste, duplication and excess have become the norm in Washington. It is time to change the status quo, be responsible stewards of the taxpayers' money and stop working off the same negligent business model that has resulted in mounting debt and trillion dollar deficits. Using scare tactics like abolishing programs that ensure Americans' safety is not the answer. Instead, our objective must be to rid the federal government of the inefficiencies plaguing recovery."
The hearing will have two witness panels. The witness for the first panel includes:
The Honorable Tom A. Coburn, U.S. Senator from Oklahoma
Witnesses for the second panel include:
Mr. Lee J. Lofthus. Assistant Attorney General for Administration, U.S. Department of Justice;
The Honorable Michael E. Horowitz, Inspector General, U.S. Department of Justice;
Mr. David C. Maurer, Director, Homeland Security and Justice, U.S. Government Accountability Office;
Mr. Tom Schatz, President, Citizens Against Government Waste; and
Mr. Richard W. Stanek, Sherrif, Hennepin County, Minnesota.