On Thursday, Sen. Joni Ernst (R-IA) released an animated Halloween video awarding her October 2021 Squeal Award to Congress for allowing taxpayer funded programs to remain in existence even after they've served their purpose. "Billions of taxpayer dollars have been buried in government programs that have outlived their purpose, but still haven’t been put to rest," the award's release read with original emphasis.
The video also serves to announce the senator is introducing the aptly titled "Zombie Programs Survival Guide Act." The bill will require that the director of the Office of Management and Budget (OMB) to "issue guidance relating to reporting by agencies on Federal financial assistance programs that do not provide Federal assistance during the 1-year period preceding the date of the report."
Townhall was present during a press event when the award recipient and bill's legislation was announced.
The report from the OMB director will include a list of each program and funds of the covered agency that provide Federal financial assistance and those that do not, as well as why those in the latter category did not.
The senator highlighted such programs as the U.S. Enrichment Corporation Fund. The Government Accountability Office (GAO) notes that "Congress may wish to consider permanent rescission of the entire $1.5 billion balance of the U.S. Enrichment Corporation Fund--a revolving fund in the U.S. Treasury--because its purposes have been fulfilled."
Sen. Ernst is working with Sen. Maggie Hassan (D-NH) when it comes to getting rid of the fund through the United States Enrichment Corporation Fund Termination and Transfer Act.
Ernst also highlighted the Presidential Election Campaign Fund, created to finance presidential campaigns, which hasn't funded anyone in five year. Yet there's still $400 million in the fund. Congress was previously awarded Ernst's squeal award over the program.
There's also the failures of the costly Affordable Care Act (ACA), in this instance as they apply to the Multi-State Plan, which costs tens of millions of dollars, but doesn't provide coverage in any state.
She's working with Sen. Ron Johnson (R-WI) when it comes to the program through the RIP MSP Act.