Promoting Efficiency and Governmental Accountability
Through his work on the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, and now as Chairman, Gary’s focused on cutting wasteful government spending and conducting oversight to hold the federal government accountable and ensure Michigan taxpayer dollars are put to good use.
The first bill Gary introduced in the Senate, the Federal Vehicle Repair Cost Savings Act, encouraged the use of remanufactured parts in repairs for federal vehicles. That not only saves taxpayer dollars instead of buying new parts, but supports remanufacturing suppliers in Michigan. That bipartisan legislation was signed into law in October 2015.
Bipartisan legislation Gary introduced to cut improper payments was signed into law in March 2020. By the government’s own estimates, duplicative, excessive, unnecessary and improperly documented payments are estimated to have cost the federal government more than $151 billion in fiscal year 2018 alone. His bill cuts the red tape in previously-existing law to better identify and reduce the amount of money wasted as a result of improper government payments. Gary has also focused on ensuring that departments across the federal government emphasize fiscal responsibility when buying, selling or retaining equipment. In August 2016, Gary’s bipartisan Making Electronic Government Accountable By Yielding Tangible Efficiencies (MEGABYTE) Act with Senator Bill Cassidy (R-LA) was signed into law. This bill streamlines the management of the federal government’s software license purchases to save taxpayer dollars, reduce waste and make our government operate more efficiently. The MEGABYTE Act has been found to have saved taxpayers more than $450 million since it was enacted into law in 2016. This followed a nonpartisan report finding that implementing oversight and management policies of federal software licenses saved a single agency $181 million tax dollars per year.
In September 2018, Gary and two Republican Senators led legislation that was signed into law requiring federal agencies to consider leasing rather than purchasing heavy equipment to save taxpayer dollars. Later, in December 2018, Gary worked with two Republican colleagues to enact their bipartisan bill directing federal agencies to more frequently identify unneeded property that could be sold or given away to their public and private sector partners.
In October 2020, bipartisan legislation led by Gary was signed into law that would help save taxpayer dollars by helping federal agencies adopt electric vehicles, which are more energy efficient than traditional gas-powered vehicles.
In January 2021, Gary’s bipartisan legislation to strengthen national security by making it harder for foreign adversaries to access office buildings where our government keeps sensitive materials was also signed into law. The bill requires the federal government to determine if office space it leases is owned by foreign entities.
As the top Democrat of the committee with oversight of the Postal Service, Gary has fought to protect its 245-year tradition of mail delivery. Gary secured $10 billion to help USPS recover from pandemic related losses. Gary has also led efforts to hold Postmaster General DeJoy accountable and shed light on how his changes to postal operations compromised service for Americans. Gary will continue to lead efforts to ensure Michiganders and all Americans can count on reliable mail service to receive prescription drugs, paychecks and bills, and that small businesses can connect with their customers.