Peters, Gardner Call on Congress to Cut Wasteful Spending and Improve Government Efficiency

Peters, Gardner Legislation Would Save Taxpayer Dollars and Reduce the Deficit


WASHINGTON, DC – U.S. Senators Gary Peters (D-MI) and Cory Gardner (R-CO), today called on Congress to act swiftly to cut wasteful spending and improve government efficiency by eliminating duplicative federal programs. Last month, Peters and Gardner introduced the Congressional Oversight to Start Taxpayer Savings Resolution (COST Savings Resolution), which helps save taxpayer dollars and makes government more efficient by requiring Congressional committees to hold oversight hearings on the Government Accountability Office’s  (GAO) Annual Report of Opportunities to Reduce Fragmentation, Overlap and Duplication and the GAO High Risk List. 

The GAO released the 2015 annual report today, identifying 24 areas across the federal government where Congress could eliminate duplicative programs and improve government efficiency, including 12 areas where Congress or the executive branch could take action to reduce the cost of government operations.

“For the last five years, GAO has issued this annual report on reducing waste and duplication in federal programs, but Congress rarely debates or implements many of these cost-saving measures,” said Senator Peters. “I’m proud to work with Senator Gardner on legislation that would require Congressional committees to review these important recommendations so that we can streamline government and save taxpayers money. I look forward to working with the GAO to continue identifying areas where we can cut wasteful spending and make government work better for taxpayers.”

"Reports that just collect dust instead of sparking action do no good when it comes to solving our nation's greatest challenges,” said Senator Gardner. “Our legislation would force Congress to consider these reports issued by the GAO, and lead to actual concrete reductions in wasteful spending. The federal government is already producing reports on wasteful spending. It’s time for Congress to act on them."

The COSTS Savings Resolution directs Congressional committees to take into account GAO recommendations on how to improve the effectiveness of government programs and eliminate unnecessary costs caused by duplicative federal programs, as well as vulnerabilities for waste, fraud, and abuse and the need for transformation of government programs. Based on a previous recommendation from GAO, the legislation also encourages committees to hold joint hearings when there are issues that span multiple committees’ jurisdictions.

Peters and Gardner also introduced the Expedited Consideration of Cuts, Consolidations and Savings Act of 2015 last month, which also helps cut wasteful spending and streamlines government by requiring Congress to debate and vote on spending cuts proposed in the President’s annual budget.