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Education & Labor Committee Republicans

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Kline Calls for Elimination of Wasteful Federal Program Spending
Failure to Act would be 'Indefensible'

U.S. House Committee on Education and the Workforce, chaired by John Kline (R-MN), today held a hearing to examine wasteful government spending detailed in a recent report by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The report, entitled “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” found several instances of overlapping federal programs, including 82 individual teacher quality programs and 47 separate job training programs administered by multiple agencies.

“At a time when our nation faces a historic fiscal crisis, we must make a concerted effort to reduce federal spending. A necessary step in this process is to eliminate and streamline federal programs,” Chairman Kline stated. “Thanks to the work of Senator Tom Coburn of Oklahoma and the Government Accountability Office, we have recently learned of massive amounts of waste and duplication within federal programs.  According to the March 2011 report, billions of dollars are being squandered on redundant programs. As our nation continues to borrow 40 cents of every dollar spent, this misuse of taxpayer funds is unacceptable.”

U.S. Comptroller General Gene L. Dodaro served as the hearing witness.  In his opening statement, he said, “The proliferation of programs has resulted in fragmentation that can frustrate agency efforts to administer programs in a comprehensive manner, limit the ability to determine which programs are most cost effective, and ultimately increase program costs.”  He also stated, “Taking actions on these opportunities and reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services.”

Expressing his frustration with the GAO’s findings, Rep. Larry Bucshon, M.D. (R-IN) said, “I continue to be amazed at the resistance by some in Congress to tackling this problem, especially the fact that we continue to find excuses to why we can’t consolidate programs and make things more efficient here in Washington D.C.  In my view, it’s not good enough to consolidate programs but [fail to] decrease the size and scope of government. Putting the same number of Washington bureaucrats under different titles without actually eliminating those with duplicative roles doesn’t accomplish anything.”

“We all have a responsibility to eliminate waste, fraud, and abuse of taxpayer dollars and make the tough choices necessary to streamline federal programs within this committee’s jurisdiction,” Chairman Kline concluded. “A failure to act when confronted with such compelling evidence of waste would be indefensible.”

To read witness testimony, opening statements, or watch an archived webcast of the hearing, visit www.edworkforce.house.gov/hearings.

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