Apr 24 2013
(WASHINGTON, D.C.) – Today, U.S. Sens. Tom Coburn, M.D. (R-OK) and Mark Udall (D-CO) introduced legislation to change the Senate rules to ensure lawmakers have necessary information available to identify all similar existing federal programs before creating new initiatives. This legislation would require an analysis be completed by the Congressional Research Service (CRS) to identify if a new bill creates any federal program, office, or initiative that would duplicate or overlap an existing federal entity. This reform would require CRS to issue a “duplication score,” which would explain if the considered legislation creates new programs duplicative of existing programs.
Earlier this month, the Government Accountability Office (GAO) issued its third annual duplication report identifying potential savings of $95 billion among 17 areas of government duplication and 14 areas of potential cost savings. Despite three years of uncovering duplicative programs, the GAO has yet to identify all overlapping programs in the federal government. All the while, Congress continues to reduce its oversight duties and instead continues to introduce policies and legislation that add more to federal government duplication and overlap. With a national debt soon to top $17 trillion, Congress must use all tools available to make smart policy decisions that ensure taxpayer funds are not spent on creating new programs that replicate existing programs.
“Across America, families continue to make hard choices to make ends meet. We need to be doing the same in Washington. One easy choice for members of Congress is to avoid spending money on programs that duplicate existing programs. Over the past three years, the GAO has found nearly $300 billion in overlap in their annual duplication reports. If individual members of the Senate fail to do the research to determine if their proposals are duplicative, this bill will ensure they receive that information. No family would handle their finances in such a haphazard way, and I’m pleased many of my colleagues on both sides of the aisle agree,” said Dr. Coburn
“All too often, Congress focuses on creating new programs and regulations instead of updating existing programs or abolishing those that have outlived their purpose,” Udall said. “This bipartisan, common-sense bill will help eliminate duplicative programs and ensure that lawmakers formally analyze possible duplication when they draft a bill or resolution. The process this bill creates will force the federal government to be more efficient and give the taxpayers a better return on their dollar.”
Since release of GAO’s first report on duplication, the Senate has twice rejected bipartisan legislation aimed at preventing future duplication.
First, on June 29, 2011, the Senate rejected identical legislation offered to S. Res. 116. The vote result was 63 - 34 (Yea –Nay), however, the measure failed to achieve the two-thirds vote threshold needed to pass.
On February 2, 2012, the Senate voted on the measure a second time. The vote result was 60-39 (Yea-Nay) but it again failed to garner the votes necessary for passage.
Key GAO findings and examples of duplication, mismanagement, and waste from the 2013 report include:
- 679 renewable energy initiatives at 23 federal agencies and their 130 sub-agencies cost taxpayers $15 billion in FY 2010.
- 76 programs to prevent or treat drug abuse are spread across 15 agencies, costing $4.5 billion in FY 2012.
- Three federal offices are involved in overseeing catfish inspections.
- 159 contracting organizations in 10 different Defense Department components provide defense foreign language support. GAO estimates $50 to $200 million in potential savings by eliminating this duplication.
- The Broadcasting Board of Governors (BBG) offers 69 different language services. GAO found 23 instances of overlap involving 43 of these services, accounting for $149 million, or nearly 20 percent, of the BBG’s FY 2011 annual appropriations.
- 21 programs, including eight tax expenditures, are in place to help students save for, pay, and repay the cost of higher education, annually costing $45 billion, $104 billion in financial loans, and $25 billion in lost revenue from tax spending.
Additional information available here.
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|10/3/12||Dr. Coburn's Letter to USDA Secretary Vilsack Regarding Regulations on School Lunches|
|9/13/12||Dr. Coburn's Amendments to the Veterans Job Corps Act of 2012|
|9/13/12||Social Security Disability Programs: Improving the Quality of Benefit Award Decisions|
|6/19/12||Farm Bill Amendments Update|
|6/12/12||Dr. Coburn's Amendments to the S. 3240, Farm Bill|
|1/30/12||Dr. Coburn Filed the Following Amendments to the STOCK Act|
|1/9/12||Senators Coburn & Scott Brown Send Letter to CMS Acting Administrator Asking on Implementing Recommendations to Reduce Medicare Fraud|
|7/27/11||9,000,000,000,000 Ways to Balance the Budget|
|7/22/11||Dr. Coburn on C-SPAN's Washington Journal This Morning|
|4/13/11||New Report Reveals Overbilling of Treasury Department by Law Firms, Misuse of TARP Funds|
|4/4/11||Dr. Coburn's amendments to cut spending by $20 billion|
|11/17/10||Today, Dr. Coburn filed two amendments to the Food Safety bill|
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|2/22/10||Guns in Parks Fact Sheet|
|12/21/09||Coburn Highlights Government Waste and the Need for Greater Congressional Oversight|
|12/6/09||Senate Health Care Bill Costs Taxpayers $6.8 million per word|
|12/3/09||Coburn Amendments to the Democrat Health Care Bill|
|11/18/09||Coburn's efforts to improve the Caregiver and Veterans Omnibus Health Services Act|
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|10/7/09||Commerce, Justice & Science Appropriations Bill Amendments and Background|
|8/6/09||Clunkers for Charity|
|8/4/09||Coburn Amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations Bill|
|6/16/09||Dr. Coburn Releases Stimulus Oversight Report|
|6/2/09||Coburn Amendments to the Family Smoking and Prevention Act|
|5/12/09||Coburn Gun Amendments 1067 and 1068|
|5/5/09||Coburn Offers Amendment to Dispose of Unneeded Federal Buildings|
|5/1/09||OMB Responds to Coburn's Letter on Transparency|
|4/22/09||Coburn Amendments to The Fraud Enforcement and Recovery Act|
|3/31/09||$3.9 trillion 2010 Budget Resolution Amendments and Highlights|
|3/17/09||Omnibus Lands Package, AKA Anti-Stimulus, Returns to Senate|
|3/2/09||Coburn Corruption and Waste Elimination Amendments|
|3/2/09||Omnibus Highlights and Numbers|
|1/29/09||Senate Rejects Opportunity to Provide Health Care to Needy Children at No Additional Cost|
|1/7/09||Senate Leaders to Kick Off New Congress with an Earmark-Laden Omnibus Lands Bill|
|10/16/08||Highlights of Senator Reid's Omnibus Lands Grab and Energy Restrictions Act Scheduled for Debate Next Month|
|9/27/08||Coburn Comments on the Fiscal Year 2009 Continuing Resolution|
|9/26/08||Reid Neglects Economy to Pursue Pet Projects|
|9/17/08||Reid's Monkey Business Continues|
|8/21/08||Coburn Applauds HHS Action on Physician Conscience Rights|
|8/1/08||Democrats Hold Civil Rights and Child Pornography Legislation as a Political Hostage|
|6/20/08||AMERICAN OIL REMAINS UNTOUCHED|
|3/14/08||Dr. Coburn's Efforts Fix GINA|
|3/11/08||Coburn's Speech on the 2009 Budget|
|3/3/08||Dr. Coburn Amendment to Ensure Scientists Conduct Research, Not Politicians|
|2/14/08||Dr. Coburn's amendments to fix the broken Indian Health Care system|
|1/29/08||Dr. Coburn's Federal Land Bill Amendments|
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|11/8/07||Defense Conference Report Loaded with Pork|
|11/6/07||Dr. Coburn's amendments to the Farm Bill|
|11/6/07||Citizen Groups Support Coburn 'No-Bid' Earmarks Amendment|
|11/2/07||Dr. Coburn Urges Politicians to Put Patients Ahead of Politics|
|8/28/07||Congress celebrates the Year of the Golden Pig|
|3/26/07||Senate supplemental funding bill loaded with pork, non-emergency items|
|3/14/07||The 9/11 Commission bill|
|3/12/07||Senate breaking earmark moratorium, gearing up for 2008 requests|
|3/5/07||Sacrifice - the great American heritage|
|2/14/07||Debating the continuing resolution|
|2/7/07||What's next for the War in Iraq?|
|1/30/07||Do we need to increase the federal mininum wage?|
|1/12/07||Real reform for the Senate ethics bill|
|1/4/07||The Coburn Principles|
|12/14/06||109th Congress Convenes|
|11/16/06||Coburn amendments to the Agriculture Appropriations bill|
|9/26/06||Ryan White CARE Act Reauthorization|
|9/26/06||President Bush Signs Coburn/Obama Transparency Act|
|8/23/06||Federal Funding Accountability and Transparency Act|
|8/2/06||Coburn amendments to the Department of Defense Appropriations bill|
|7/17/06||Major Points For Ethical Stem Cell Research and Against Embryonic Stem Cell Research|
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|7/12/06||Coburn amendments to Homeland Security appropriations bill|
|6/22/06||Coburn amendments to Defense authorization bill|
|6/9/06||Improve Access, Quality of Health Care|
|6/7/06||Stop the Senate from approving the Native Hawaiian Government Reform Act|
|6/7/06||Senate rejects Marriage Protection Amendment|
|5/2/06||Stop the Senate from approving non-emergency projects in the emergency supplemental|
|12/14/05||Dr. Coburn letter to HHS on Ryan White CARE Act formulas and ADAP funding|