SHAHEEN: CONGRESS SHOULD ACT ON GAO REPORT, IMPLEMENT TARGETED BUDGET CUTSApril 08, 2014
(Washington, DC) – U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) is renewing her call for Congress to use a newly released Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) annual report as a guide to rein in federal spending and implement responsible, targeted budget cuts to save taxpayer dollars. Shaheen, who chairs the Senate Appropriations Subcommittee on Legislative Branch, also urged her colleagues to appropriately support the GAO which plays an important role as a watchdog over government spending and can further help identify areas to cut duplicative federal spending.
“We have to do more to put our country’s finances in order and that should start with cutting waste wherever we find it,” Shaheen said. “While we have made significant progress to reduce our deficits, there’s more that needs to be done. The GAO’s report demonstrates that we have many opportunities to take bipartisan action to eliminate wasteful spending and get the country’s finances in order, and we should seriously consider their recommendations.”
Shaheen added, “Oversight is critical to better managing taxpayer dollars and addressing our debt and deficits. I’ve introduced plans to bolster government oversight and fix the way we budget in Washington by putting a premium on oversight, and I hope we can to move forward on these plans to make certain the way we are spending is effective and efficient.”
Shaheen, who sits on the Senate Appropriations Committee, has led an ongoing, bipartisan effort toward promoting greater accountability of taxpayer dollars in government spending. Shaheen has led a bipartisan effort to reform Washington’s broken budget process and adopt biennial budgeting, as is used in New Hampshire, which would allow for more oversight of federal spending by moving to a two-year budget process.
The GAO report issued today echoes Shaheen’s call to eliminate a redundant catfish inspection program, which Shaheen and Senator John McCain (R-AZ) have proposed legislation to repeal. The redundant program is already costing taxpayers tens of millions to develop and is expected to cost $15 million annually to operate. The GAO also recommends Congressional action, like the bipartisan proposal Shaheen recently introduced with Senator Tom Coburn (R-OK), to limit the subsidy for premiums that an individual farmer can receive each year, which would save a billion dollars over ten years. In addition, the GAO again suggested that federal agencies involved in export promotion do a better job of defining their roles, which the bipartisan Shaheen-Ayotte Small Business Export Growth Act is crafted to do.
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