We must take immediate steps to end the reckless spending that is threatening the future of our nation. We need to review federally funded programs on a regular basis and get rid of the ones that aren’t producing results for the American taxpayers. We must stop spending money on projects that by anybody’s definition are projects that shouldn’t be funded with tax dollars. Congress must become better stewards of the taxpayers’ money.
Federal Budget Process
I have introduced legislation to change the federal appropriations process from an annual budgeting cycle to a two-year budgeting cycle as a way to bring more accountability and discipline to federal spending. This legislation would allow Congress to appropriate federal dollars every odd-numbered year and to conduct much-needed oversight of federal programs every even-numbered year. Changing to a two-year budget cycle would decrease Congress’ temptation to spend on projects in election years and would increase accountability and fiscal discipline.
I also believe in increased transparency and disclosure in the appropriations process, and that is why I voted in January 2007 to strengthen earmark reform during the Senate debate on S.1, the Ethics Reform Bill. I supported an amendment to require disclosure of congressional earmarks and the availability to the public of all congressional earmarks at least 48 hours before consideration by Congress. I am also a co-sponsor of S.304, the SAFE Commission Act, which establishes a commission to develop legislation that will improve the fiscal future of the United States.
In addition, I have made my federal funding requests available to the public on my website in an effort to promote accountability. Please click here if you would like to view my federal funding requests for Fiscal Year 2009 and Fiscal Year 2008. As I have done since first being elected to Congress in 1999, I will continue to work for spending restraint and fiscal responsibility.
Stop Over-Spending (“S.O.S”)
It is imperative that we change our budget process and put in spending priorities. I am co-sponsor of S.15, which will reduce the federal deficit and reform the federal budget process. Specifically, the Stop Over-Spending (“S.O.S.”) Act will create a line-item veto mechanism for the president to use to eliminate wasteful spending and require Congressional affirmation for any deletions proposed by the president. It will implement procedures to automatically slow the rate of growth for mandatory programs if Congress fails to meet deficit reduction targets and reinstate statutory caps on discretionary spending. In addition, the S.O.S. Act will create two new bi-partisan commissions. The first will study the accountability and efficiency of government programs. The second commission will examine and provide solutions to the impending entitlement crisis.
I also have co-sponsored several pieces of legislation to curb federal spending and to demand more accountability from programs that receive federal dollars, including the Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies Act to establish a bipartisan commission to review federal programs in an effort to eliminate programs that are duplicative, wasteful, inefficient or outdated, and the Government Reorganization and Program Performance Improvement Act to require Congress and the Executive Branch to regularly and formally examine whether federal programs are producing results for the American people.
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