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Letter to Charles Schumer and Pat Roberts - Budget


Location: Washington, DC

Today, U.S. Senator Dean Heller (R-NV) wrote a letter to the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration asking them to consider auditing Senate operations and offering to work with them to identify areas of wasteful spending within the Senate budget.

The letter to Senators Chuck Schumer (D-NY) and Pat Roberts (R-KS) points out that a 1995 audit found $20 million in savings within the House of Representatives' budget. Heller also notes that an audit would help lead towards a "fiscally austere Congress," which is particularly important considering our nation is nearly $17 trillion in debt.

A PDF of the letter is below.

Full text of the letter below:

March 4, 2013

The Honorable Charles E. Schumer
Senate Rules Committee
305 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, D.C. 20510

The Honorable Pat Roberts
Ranking Member
Senate Rules Committee
305 Russell Senate Office Building
Washington, DC 20510

Dear Chairman Schumer and Ranking Member Roberts,

As the 113th Congress begins, questions regarding the fiscal state of the federal government have been one of the major topics we have addressed. Like you, I believe the U.S. Senate must lead by example.

In 1995, the House of Representatives hired outside counsel to audit the operations of the House, and it was found that accounting procedures were lacking and incomplete; House Rules were inconsistently applied and contradicted; and various House support services were either wasteful or unnecessary. The audit's recommendations and existing reforms implemented thereafter resulted in saving an estimated $20 million.

That was nearly two decades ago, and to our knowledge, the Senate has never initiated such a procedure. I encourage you, as the Chairman and Ranking Member of the Senate Committee on Rules and Administration, to look into this proposal. I stand ready to work with you to develop recommendations to the Senate for areas in which we can eliminate wasteful spending. By having a full understanding of how and where funding within the Senate is allocated, we can create accountability for U.S. taxpayer dollars while also taking an important step toward a fiscally austere Congress.

Thank you for the opportunity to contact you. I look forward to working with the Majority and specifically your Committee to root out waste in the U.S. Senate.


Dean Heller

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