WASHINGTON – U.S. Senators Maggie Hassan (D-NH), Chair of the Emerging Threats and Spending Oversight Subcommittee, and Subcommittee Ranking Member Rand Paul (R-KY) introduced bipartisan legislation that would require government agencies to implement changes recommended by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) to save taxpayer dollars and improve government efficiency. The Acting on the Annual Duplication Report Act of 2021 follows Senator Hassan’s subcommittee hearing this spring to examine ways Congress can act on the GAO’s annual report on duplication, overlap, and fragmentation in the federal government.
“This bipartisan bill reflects New Hampshire’s proud history of fiscal responsibility,” said Senator Hassan. “I’m glad to work across the aisle to put into place these commonsense cost-savings measures and ensure that the government is a better steward of taxpayer dollars.”
"This is GAO’s eleventh annual duplication report, each shedding light on some truly troubling examples of waste," said Dr. Paul. "As we fight to rein in current wasteful spending, this commonsense reform would require government agencies to make sure we are only using tax dollars on things that make sense and not on outdated, inefficient bureaucratic programs."
The bill follows the release of the 2021 annual GAO report that examines duplication, overlap, and fragmentation, and incorporates recommendations from previous annual duplication reports. The reports include recommendations to Congress on what it can do to address the issues identified.
The bipartisan bill introduced by Senators Hassan and Paul acts on these GAO recommendations. Highlights include:
- Reducing the cost of coin production by millions of dollars each year by changing the metal content of coins.
- Closing a loophole in federal student loan policy, holding colleges and universities with high student loan default rates accountable—protecting both students and taxpayers.
- Improving the accuracy of government payments to military housing contractors to potentially result in millions of dollars in savings – reflecting a new recommendation from GAO this year
You can read the full bill text here.
This bipartisan legislation is part of Senator Hassan’s ongoing efforts to cut waste, fraud, and abuse and save taxpayer dollars. Last year’s annual defense bill included a provision based off of Senator Hassan and Paul’s previously introduced bill that requires the Navy to enact GAO recommendations to save billions of dollars by identifying, evaluating, and mitigating ship maintenance concerns when it acquires warships. Most recently, Senator Hassan alongside Republican Senator Braun, introduced the bipartisan Wasteful Federal Programs Reduction Authorization Act to create a system to facilitate agency identification of wasteful programs and develop legislation to eliminate those programs. The Senator also helped lead efforts to introduce and pass the Stopping Improper Payments to Deceased People Act to curb federal improper payments to the deceased and save taxpayer dollars. Last year, the Senator worked to pass into law the bipartisan Taxpayers Right to Know Act, which compiles a public database detailing the costs and purposes of government programs, which enables Congress to increase transparency and curb wasteful spending. Furthermore, in 2019, former President Trump signed into law bipartisan legislation introduced by Senators Hassan and Bill Cassidy (R-LA) to close a loophole in the Medicaid rebate program that results in big pharmaceutical companies overcharging taxpayers. The bipartisan legislation will save taxpayers approximately $3.1 billion over the next 10 years.