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DRIVE LESS legislation will reduce federal vehicle budget by 20 percent

(WASHINGTON, DC) –  U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen (D-NH) has re-introduced bipartisan legislation cosponsored by Senators Mark Kirk (R-IL), James Lankford (R-OK) and Angus King (I-ME) to save taxpayer dollars by reducing the federal funding available for the acquisition and leasing of new federal vehicles. The Domestic Reduction In Vehicle Expenditure and Lowering Emissions from State Sources Act, or the DRIVE LESS Act, moves on the recommendations of the National Commission on Fiscal Responsibility and Reform, which found that reducing the federal vehicle fleet budget by 20 percent would save approximately $500 million taxpayer dollars.

“Taxpayers shouldn’t be footing the bill for government agencies’ expensive SUV fleets,” Senator Shaheen said. “The government’s bloated vehicle budget is a perfect example of where we can make smart, targeted cuts, and my bill makes sure the government takes better control of its wallet and only makes necessary vehicle purchases.”

"Reducing the federal government's fleet of vehicles by 20 percent would save taxpayers $5.6 billion over ten years – this legislation is a no-brainer," Senator Kirk said. "Originally proposed by the bipartisan Simpson-Bowles report in 2010, this bill would cut unnecessary government spending and take an important step towards fiscal responsibility."

“I’m pleased to co-sponsor this bipartisan fiscally responsible federal fleet reduction bill,” Senator Lankford said. “While the total federal fleet inventory has been reduced by about 5 percent since the Simpson-Bowles Commission, there is still a long way to go to achieve the 20 percent recommendation. Washington should seriously evaluate and pass all common-sense deficit reduction proposals like this one.”

“Congress has to make a lot of hard choices, but this isn’t one of them. The federal vehicle budget has ballooned to a fiscally irresponsible level, and it’s just not right that American taxpayers are left covering such a needlessly high bill,” Senator King said. “Reducing what the government spends on the federal fleet by 20 percent is a common-sense proposal that dates back to the Simpson-Bowles Commission, and it’s time we acted on this much-needed, bipartisan reform.”

The DRIVE LESS Act is modeled after bipartisan legislation Shaheen cosponsored in the 112th and 113th Congresses. According to a 2012 study by the Government Accountability Office, the number of federal vehicles, excluding postal and non-tactical military, increased about seven percent since fiscal year 2005, from 420,000 to 449,000 vehicles. In Fiscal Year 2013, the federal government spent $4.44 billion on its vehicle fleet.