By Kevin Derby
Florida Republican U.S. Rep. Dennis Ross, the chairman of the congressional Oversight Subcommittee on the Federal Workforce, Postal Service, and Labor Policy, introduced his first bill on Friday which would require the federal government to use zero-based budgeting.
"For far too long, programs, agencies, and entire departments operated on funding auto-pilot," argued Ross. "Regardless of how poorly performing, unnecessary, or unconstitutional, federal agencies continue to be funded year after year, to the detriment of the taxpayer. Demanding justification, as well as funding options, for every dollar spent is the least we should expect from a government that utilizes over $3 trillion -- with a "t" -- of hard-earned taxpayer dollars every year.
"This legislation is bipartisan in that every agency and department, from those most favored by liberals to those most favored by conservatives, will be forced to justify their existence," added Ross.
Ross listed four principles for his proposal: "a description for each activity for which a department or agency receives an appropriation"; a "legal basis for the program or activity"; "three alternative funding levels for the budget year" of which "two out of the three alternative funding levels must be less than the previous budget year"; and "for each activity, a summary of its cost-effectiveness and efficiency to the taxpayer."