~ Programs identified for elimination by both Bush & Obama Administrations ~
Jun 16 2010
Contact: Kevin Hall (202-224-2023)
WASHINGTON – U.S. Sen. Mark R. Warner (D-VA) filed legislation today that would cancel more than $800 million in annual spending on 17 outdated, ineffective or duplicative programs in six federal agencies. These programs have been recommended for termination by the Office of Management and Budget during both the Bush and Obama administrations, yet Congress has so far refused to act on the OMB recommendations.
“Over the past three years, budget experts in both a Republican and now a Democratic administration have determined that these 17 programs have either outlived their usefulness or else unnecessarily duplicate other programs,” Senator Warner said. “If we in Congress cannot agree to accept a bipartisan recommendation to cut nearly one billion dollars, taxpayers should question our commitment to ever take real steps toward getting our national deficit under control.”
“When it comes to these specific programs, we should shift the burden of proof,” Senator Warner added. “Instead of arguing about whether these programs should be eliminated, members of Congress should explain why these programs should be preserved.”
For most of these 17 programs, the current and previous administrations have determined that they duplicate existing programs. For example, two programs —the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Public Broadcasting Grants and the Department of Commerce’s Public Telecommunications Facilities Grants — duplicate activities being carried out by the Corporation for Public Broadcasting.
“That means taxpayers are paying triple the overhead to deliver the same services,” Senator Warner said. “In addition, the USDA and Commerce programs primarily have been focused on supporting the conversion to digital broadcasting – an initiative that in theory was completed last year.“
Senator Warner’s proposal was filed today as an amendment to legislation providing tax relief to businesses and extending unemployment benefits to individuals. The Senate is expected to vote on the underlying legislation by the end of this week. If procedural obstacles stand in his way, Senator Warner intends to continue proposing this amendment until it is enacted.
A member of the Senate Budget Committee, Senator Warner currently serves as chairman of a bipartisan task force that currently is evaluating the performance and effectiveness of selected federal agencies and programs.