Senator Dan Coats (R-Ind.), a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, today questioned Secretary of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) Shaun Donovan about the department's funding of duplicative programs during a committee hearing on the administration's annual budget request.
"There are numerous examples of duplicative and wasteful spending within every sector of the federal government," said Coats. "I am asking each government agency head to find ways to save taxpayer dollars by eliminating or consolidating duplicative programs."
In 2012, the Government Accountability Office found that the federal government operates 160 separate housing assistance programs and tax expenditures within 20 departments and agencies costing about $170 billion. Coats also inquired about HUD funding for a private company specializing in beauty products for pets.
"HUD provided a grant of $505,000 to Sergeant's Pet Care Products, which specializes in pet shampoo and toothpaste," said Coats. "This private company expected to bring in revenue of $140 million in 2012. Why are we spending taxpayer money on a pet care company making millions of dollars in revenue?"
The department has 30 days to respond to Coats' questions.