As we all know, spending in Washington is completely out of control and in desperate need of reform. We are facing an ever increasing budget, continually growing entitlement programs and a federal deficit that economists predict will hit $500 billion by 2010. Our financial markets are in turmoil and the risks the American people face in this crisis are clear and for the most part completely unprecedented – it is hard to deny that the entire federal government could use a good dose of accountability in its spending habits. Simply put – the federal government needs to clean out the attic and trim the fat in order to operate in the most efficient way possible, putting taxpayer money to good use, not waste!
I introduced legislation to do just that. H.R. 7071, the Federal Agency Program Realignment and Closure Act (FAPRAC) will put Washington on notice that the days of an unaccountable and wasteful federal government must come to an end. My bill creates a 17 member bipartisan commission, comprised of both public and private sector officials, closely modeled after the proven Defense Base Realignment and Closure (BRAC) process, which will provide an objective, non-partisan, and independent review and analysis of all federal agencies and programs. The commission will target agencies and programs that perform a duplicative function, would perform better at the state level or perform better in the private sector and create a list of recommended realignments and closures. The list is then given to Congress for a simple up or down vote and cannot be amended. Taxpayer savings from this legislation will be used solely for deficit reduction and cannot be used to fund any new or existing government programs. It goes without saying that BRAC is a proven model that saves taxpayer money. If it is good enough to reform our nation’s military, it is good enough to be applied to the entire federal government.
I firmly believe that if we are going to keep putting new spending and programs on the table, then we absolutely must have a mechanism to take old things off the table. This week alone, each member of Congress could be asked to vote on billions, maybe even more than a trillion dollars in new federal spending – when I relayed that news to a room full of my constituents in a meeting this week, the room went silent. It is imperative that we look to trim the fat out of all federal agencies and programs and not continue to grow our national debt.