Gardner, Peters Introduce Legislative Package of Bipartisan Cost-Saving Measures

WASHINGTON, DC –U.S. Senators Cory Gardner (R-CO) and Gary Peters (D-MI) today introduced two bills that would help reduce wasteful government spending and cut the deficit. The Congressional Oversight to Start Taxpayer Savings Resolution (COST Savings Resolution) and the Expedited Consideration of Cuts, Consolidations and Savings Act of 2015 will save taxpayer dollars and make government more effective and efficient by helping eliminate duplicative or overlapping programs and by requiring Congress to debate and vote on spending cuts proposed in the President’s annual budget.

“These bills will help reduce wasteful government spending,” Senator Gardner said. “The government is already spending time and money producing reports on wasteful spending, but these reports are too often ignored in Congress. Reports that just collect dust instead of action do no good when it comes to solving our nation's greatest challenges. By forcing Congress to take action, these bills would save taxpayer money and keep us from needlessly adding to our already-massive national debt.”

“Congress has a duty to be good stewards of taxpayer dollars and ensure they are being used efficiently,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to introduce these bipartisan, commonsense bills to help streamline government and ensure that it is running efficiently and effectively for hard-working families in Michigan and across the country. Finding ways to cut costs and save taxpayer money is an area where members of both parties can find common ground, and I look forward to working with my Senate colleagues to reduce wasteful spending.”

The COST Savings Resolution would require Congressional committees to hold oversight hearings on the Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Annual Report of Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap and Duplication and the GAO High Risk List. The bill directs Congressional committees to take into account recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of government programs and eliminate unnecessary costs caused by duplicative federal programs, as well as vulnerabilities for waste, fraud, and abuse and the need for transformation of government programs.

The 2014 GAO annual report identified 26 areas across the federal government where Congress could eliminate duplicative programs and improve efficiency and effectiveness, as well as 15 areas where Congress could reduce the cost of government operations. For example, a previous GAO report found that there were multiple agencies in charge of inspecting catfish for human consumption. Streamlining catfish inspection under one agency could save millions of taxpayer dollars without compromising public safety. The 2015 GAO High Risk List identified 32 areas that are at high risk due to vulnerabilities for fraud, waste, abuse and mismanagement, or are most in need of transformation. The COST Savings Resolution would ensure that Congress acts on these reports produced by GAO.

The Expedited Consideration of Cuts, Consolidations and Savings Act of 2015 would require Congress to consider, debate and vote on deficit reduction recommendations from the Cuts, Consolidations, and Savings report, which is part of the President’s annual budget that includes recommendations from the Administration to reduce the deficit.

The Cuts, Consolidations and Savings report for fiscal year 2016 identifies more than $14 billion in possible cuts and reductions in federal spending. The Expedited Consideration of Cuts, Consolidations and Savings Act of 2015 would allow the White House to send Congress a list of proposed cuts or savings which Congress must then vote to accept or reject. If cuts and consolidations on this year’s list passed, they would save a projected $110 billion by 2025.