Focusing on Fiscal Responsibility
As our country continues to recover from the worst recession since the Great Depression, we must make fiscally responsible decisions so we can continue to afford critical investments in our future. By cutting wasteful spending, streamlining duplicative programs, and finding efficiencies throughout government, we can reduce the deficit in a balanced way that protects priorities such as education, research, and health care.
I am committed to working with Republicans and Democrats in Congress to curtail excessive spending, close tax loopholes, and end wasteful subsidies. If both parties come together to focus on finding creative solutions instead of dwelling on ideological disagreements, I believe that we can reduce the deficit, get back to balanced budgets, and continue to move our country forward.
That is why I support the following common sense reforms:
- Cleaning Up the Federal Balance Sheet: I introduced the CLEAN Act, bipartisan legislation (H.R. 1856) to force federal agencies to close long-empty bank accounts that cost millions of dollars to maintain despite no longer serving a purpose. In 2012, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) reported that the federal government was spending roughly $173,000 per month to maintain more than 28,000 empty bank accounts at an annual cost of over $2 million. While some progress has been made since then, I introduced the Closing Long-Empty Accounts Now Act in response to reports that thousands of empty accounts remained open for no reason, racking up expensive service fees for taxpayers. No family or business would knowingly tolerate that type of waste, and neither should the federal government.
- Cutting Wasteful Spending: I cosponsored the Savings, Accountability, Value, and Efficiency (SAVE) Act (H.R. 1999), legislation to cut hundreds of billions in federal spending by reducing waste and increasing efficiency. This bipartisan bill would take common sense steps, such as eliminating a costly and duplicative catfish inspection program, consolidating federal data centers, and increasing competition in federal contracting.
- Adopting Biennial Budgeting: I am a cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 1869) to adopt a two-year budget cycle for the federal government. Following the example set by New Hampshire and other states, this bill would free up more time for congress to conduct oversight and ensure tax dollars are spent wisely or not at all.
- Eliminating Duplication: To simplify federal services for businesses, save money, and streamline government, I introduced the Executive Agency Simplification and Efficiencies (EASE) Act (H.R. 3645). This legislation would require Congress to expedite expert proposals to streamline agencies that provide services to the private sector. I am also a cosponsor of legislation (H.R. 530) to help the government save billions of dollars, cut wasteful spending, and consolidate duplicative programs. The bipartisan Government Waste Reduction Act would advance a series of expert waste-cutting recommendations that were included in recent Government Accountability Office reports but were never acted on by Congress. In 2011, 2012, and 2013, the GAO released reports outlining wasteful and duplicative government programs that should be consolidated or eliminated. For example, these reports highlight overlap between 53 federal programs to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses, twenty entities that provide housing assistance, and over 200 Department of Justice grant programs. Implementing these expert proposals won’t solve all of our fiscal challenges, but they are sensible steps that will make our government more efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people.