WASHINGTON – Senator Maggie Hassan today conducted her first hearing as Ranking Member of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs (HSGAC) Subcommittee on Federal Sending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO). The focus of the hearing was the 2019 report from the Government Accountability’s Office (GAO) on how to reduce duplication in the federal government and save taxpayer dollars.

In her opening remarks, Senator Hassan stressed her commitment to working in a bipartisan fashion to ensure fiscal responsibility in the federal government.

“Today’s hearing is my first as Ranking Member of the Subcommittee on Federal Oversight and Emergency Management, and I am glad to get to work alongside Chairman Paul,” Senator Hassan said. “I’m glad for this assignment because Granite Staters rightfully expect that their hard-earned taxpayer dollars will be spent wisely and effectively, and this Subcommittee’s efforts are critical to helping ensure that that happens. I look forward to working with the Chairman on bipartisan efforts to help spur innovation in government, ensure fiscal responsibility, and root out waste, fraud, and abuse.”

Senator Hassan continued, “While it’s not always easy to build consensus on cost-saving measures, taking aim at federal programs that are fragmented, overlapping, and duplicative should be an area of strong bipartisan agreement. GAO’s report identifies dozens of new actions that Congress or executive branch agencies can take to improve efficiency, as well as previous recommendations that still need to be implemented.”

By acting on the recommendations from GAO’s 2011-2018 reports, Congress and the Executive Branch have saved roughly $262 billion in taxpayer dollars according to estimates from the GAO.

During her questioning, Senator Hassan highlighted the issue of stopping improper payments, which the GAO estimated cost the federal government $151 billion in 2018. Senator Hassan joined in introducing the bipartisanStopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act – which passed out of the HSGAC Committee last week – to curb the erroneous payments the federal government makes to deceased individuals. During Senator Hassan’s questioning, Hon. Gene Dodaro, U.S. Comptroller General at the GAO, urged Congress to pass this bipartisan legislation and cited it as an exemplary area of bipartisan agreement in Congress to promote fiscal responsibility across the government.