Chairman Carper, Ranking Member Coburn Highlight Report Detailing Potentially Duplicative Government Programs and Wasteful Spending

WASHINGTON – Today, Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee Chairman Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Ranking Member Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) highlighted an annual report from the Government Accountability Office (GAO) that identifies potentially overlapping, duplicative, or fragmented government programs, agencies, offices, and initiatives. The report also identifies opportunities that the federal government could use to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government programs and activities in an effort to cut costs and save money for taxpayers.

As part of the report’s release, GAO will launch its “Action Tracker,” which is a publically accessible website that monitors the progress Congress and federal agencies make in addressing previously identified inefficiencies. A copy of the report can be found here:

“With concerns growing over the mounting federal deficit and national debt, the American people deserve a more efficient and effective government,” said Chairman Carper. “The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) most recent ‘duplication report’ provides us with an assessment of some areas we could focus on to further improve efficiency within the federal government. This report can help us focus our continuing efforts to look into every corner of our federal budget to find ways to save taxpayer money. But just because a program is identified by GAO as potentially ‘duplicative’ doesn’t mean that it is wasteful or unnecessary. We must now do the hard work in Congress of reviewing the programs that GAO believes may be ‘duplicative’ to determine where we can find efficiencies. I look forward to continuing my partnership with GAO, the Administration, Dr. Coburn, and our colleagues in Congress to ensure that we do all that we can to help put our nation on the path to a more effective – and efficient – government.”

“While millions of Americans have been doing more with less, the federal government continues to do less with more,” said Dr. Coburn.  “The $95 billion in overlap identified in this report, combined with the $200 billion in overlap identified in GAO’s previous two reports, could easily cover the costs of sequestration.  Yet, instead of preventing furloughs, reopening air traffic control towers and restoring public access to White House, Congress and the administration continue to defend billions of dollars in duplicative programs that are little more than monuments to the good intentions of career politicians in Washington.  

“It is unconscionable and immoral for Congress and the administration to ignore this problem,” continued Dr. Coburn. “Every dollar the government takes from a single mom or low-income family to fund an overlapping catfish inspection program is a dollar taxpayers have to earn back by working longer hours.  And every dollar we take out of the economy to fund the government’s 679th renewable energy initiative is a dollar that isn’t available for businesses to renew our economy. GAO has told Congress where to find the savings.  Now it’s up to us to act.  Millions of families have already gone through their budgets line by line and found savings.  It’s long past time for Congress and the administration to do the same.”