(Washington, D.C.) U.S. Senators Joe Manchin (D-W.Va) and Kelly Ayotte (R-NH), along with Representative Charlie Dent (PA-15), reintroduced legislation in the Senate and House today aimed at saving billions of taxpayer dollars by making it easier for Congress to eliminate duplicative and wasteful programs across federal government agencies. 

The Government Accountability Office’s (GAO) Annual Report on Fragmentation, Overlap, and Duplication identifies duplicative, overlapping, or wasteful government programs, and provides recommendations to reduce waste and inefficiency.  Yet Congress and President too often fail to act on these recommendations. In fact, since 2011, the federal government has implemented just 12 percent of the 300 recommended actions outlined by the GAO. Billions of dollars continue to be wasted.

The Duplication Elimination Act would require the President to submit to Congress a joint resolution implementing the GAO’s recommendations. The legislation would also require the President to provide Congress with a report that explains which GAO recommendations are excluded and the reason for their omission.  Congress would then vote on the joint resolution within ten days.  The bill also includes a requirement that any savings achieved from implementing the GAO’s recommendations be used solely for deficit reduction.

“With our national debt exceeding $18 trillion, we need to make smart reforms that cut the fat from federal government programs,” Senator Manchin said. “It’s only common sense to get rid of government waste and hold our government accountable for unnecessary redundancies. I am truly grateful to work with my colleagues from both parties in the House and the Senate to come up with such a reasonable way to help reduce our deficit and focus on fiscal responsibility.”

"With our nation over $18 trillion in debt, we simply can't afford to continue wasting hard-earned taxpayer dollars on duplicative and wasteful federal programs,” said Senator Ayotte.  “It’s well past time for Congress and the president to act on GAO's commonsense recommendations, and our bipartisan legislation would be a significant step toward streamlining and modernizing government programs to save billions of taxpayer dollars."

“I am proud to join with Senator Manchin today in introducing common sense legislation that will make the government more efficient and effective.  It is wrong that duplicative and inefficient programs should continue to receive funding especially during a time when our nation faces many fiscal challenges,” said Representative Dent.

“Failing to take action to end wasteful, duplicated programs is a disservice to the taxpayers and must be addressed by Congress. I look forward to working with Senators Manchin and Ayotte to pass this important piece of legislation and make government work better for the taxpayers,” Dent concluded.

The GAO’s 2014 Annual Report “identified 11 new areas of fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal programs and activities. GAO also identified 15 new opportunities for cost savings and revenue enhancement.” 

Manchin, Ayotte, and Dent introduced similar legislation last Congress.

CONTACT: Shawn Millan (610) 770-3490