Sep 29 2011
Dr. Coburn, along with Sens. Ron Johnson (R-WI), Claire McCaskill (D-MO), John McCain (R-AZ), and Scott Brown (R-MA), today sent this letter to the members of the Senate Committee on Appropriations concerning the budget of the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO) being subjected to unfair and excessive cuts. While they agree GAO must face the same harsh fiscal realities being applied to every other federal agency and program, the cut to the agency’s budget represents more than ten percent of the entire reduction proposed within legislative branch spending.
- "We are concerned that the Government Accountability Office (GAO) is being unfairly singled out with both excessively deep cuts and overly burdensome new mandates that will consume the agency’s more limited resources for no apparent benefit"
- "While GAO’s budget is being slashed, the bill provides a spending increase for the John C. Stennis Center for Public Service Training and Development and Senators Official Personnel and Office Expenses escape serious cuts with a shave of just 3.17 percent"
- "While GAO has stepped up efforts to meet congressional demands, the oversight conducted by Congress itself has declined dramatically. Congressional committees, for example, held 318 fewer hearings in the 111th Congress than in the 110th Congress. There is no question oversight of the federal government, a primary function of the legislative branch, will suffer as a result of this dramatic cut to GAO funding"
- "As we seek solutions to our nation’s fiscal crisis, GAO’s nonpartisan expertise has never been more valuable. In fiscal year 2009, GAO documented about $43 billion in financial benefits—a return of $80 for every dollar spent by GAO. The $41.7 million cut to GAO’s budget could, therefore, result in $3.3 billion in federal funds that will be lost to waste, fraud, abuse, and inefficiency. We cannot afford that possibility, especially at this time"
Full text of the letter: here