As Chairman of the Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee, Gary has focused on cutting wasteful government spending, conducting oversight to hold the federal government accountable, and ensuring Michigan taxpayer dollars are put to good use.
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. He authored and led passage of a historic, bipartisan law to set the United States Postal Service on a more sustainable financial footing and support the goal of providing long-term reliable service across the country. The law made the first major reforms to the Postal Service in more than 15 years. Peters also helped secure $3 billion in the Inflation Reduction Act to help the Postal Service purchase safe and modern electric delivery trucks and invest in charging infrastructure.
Gary led numerous efforts to ensure that taxpayer dollars are spent effectively and efficiently. His bipartisan bill directing the General Services Administration (GSA) to install the most cost effective and energy-efficient lighting in public buildings was signed into law. He also convened a hearing to highlight how independent watchdogs are holding bad actors accountable for misusing relief funds that were meant to help Americans affected by the COVID-19 pandemic.
As a part of the American Rescue Plan Act, Gary secured an historic investment of $1 billion for the Technology Modernization Fund. These funds are already working to modernize federal government systems that deliver critical services, like unemployment insurance, to Americans. Finally, Peters’ bipartisan legislation to save taxpayer dollars by ensuring federal property and assets are disaster resilient was also signed into law.
Peters led long overdue reforms that were signed into law to strengthen protections for Inspectors General so they can conduct independent oversight to root out waste, fraud and abuse of taxpayer dollars. His bipartisan bill to identify and mitigate potential conflicts of interest in federal contracting, which will help ensure taxpayer dollars are going to projects that serve their best interests, was also signed into law.
Improving efficiency and governmental accountability has been a priority for Gary since he joined the Senate. In fact — 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. Purchasing remanufactured parts instead of buying new parts not only saves taxpayer dollars, but also supports remanufacturing suppliers in Michigan. That bipartisan legislation was signed into law in October 2015.
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.