WASHINGTON, D.C. – During a business meeting on Wednesday, the U.S. Senate Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee passed S. 2183, legislation introduced by U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), chairman of the Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) Subcommittee, to help prevent the creation of further duplication, waste, and overlap in federal programs, offices, and initiatives. U.S. Senator Maggie Hassan (D-NH), ranking member of the FSO Subcommittee, and U.S. Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senator Paul in introducing the legislation on July 18, 2019.

The bill directs the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to review each piece of legislation reported out of a committee to determine if it poses a risk of producing even more duplication in areas of government where the GAO has already identified such problems in one of its annual duplication reports.

“As we fight to rein in current wasteful spending, this reform would better enable Congress to make more fully informed decisions and stop waste before it ever happens. I applaud the committee for advancing our legislation, and I urge the Senate to follow its lead by quickly taking up and passing this bipartisan reform,” said Senator Paul.

“I’m committed to working across the aisle in order to guard against wasteful spending on duplicative government programs – and that’s exactly what this bill enables us to do,” said Senator Hassan. “I am pleased to join Senators Paul and Lankford to advance this bill as we continue to work together to improve government efficiency and save taxpayer dollars.”

Under the bill as passed by the committee, the GAO would notify the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) and the committee that reported the examined legislation of its findings.

The legislation follows a May 2019 FSO Subcommittee hearing to review the GAO’s 2019 annual duplication report.

“In our first eight reports, we made over 800 recommendations for congressional and executive branch action,” U.S. Comptroller General Gene Dodaro testified in May, adding that “54% have been implemented fully already” and “[a]nother 23% partially implemented,” with “financial benefits realized of $262 billion already that either have accrued or will accrue as a result of implementation of the recommendations.”

In the report, which you can find HERE, the GAO “identifies 98 new actions that Congress or executive branch agencies can take to improve the efficiency and effectiveness of government in 28 new areas and 11 existing areas,” with the agency estimating “tens of billions of additional dollars” in savings if its remaining open recommendations from prior reports and the 98 new items are fully implemented.

You can watch the entire FSO Subcommittee hearing from May 21, 2019, HERE.