Lawmakers introduce legislation to transform agency budgeting, spending


Agencies would move to a two-year budget cycle, consolidate duplicative programs and slash travel spending under a series of bills introduced Thursday by a bi-partisan group of lawmakers.

The nine separate pieces of legislation introduced by the No Labels Caucus include a number of changes to agency budgeting, procurement and spending rules.

“Forget, for a moment, whether you think government should be doing more or less, which is really the fundamental debate in this town,” said Rep. Reid Ribble, a member of the caucus.

“We should all be able to agree that whatever government is doing now should be done better,” she added.

The legislation would:

Withhold pay from members of Congress unless both chambers are able to pass a budget before the start of the fiscal year.

Establish a two-year budgeting cycle for all agencies.

Consolidate fragmented and duplicative programs identified by the Government Accountability Office.

Encourage agencies to expand strategic sourcing efforts.

Remove automatic adjustments for inflation in agency budgeting.

Push the Defense Department and Veterans Affairs Department to speed up efforts to combine electronic health records.

Cut agency travel spending by 50 percent.

Expand agency use of public-private partnerships to increase building energy efficiency.

Create a bipartisan commission that would oversee efforts to streamline federal agencies and find wasteful programs.


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  1. Some of these restrictions are going to cause more harm than good and don’t make sense.

    Take travel, do we want Nuclear Plant inspectors and Food Inspectors to travel less and visit fewer plants each year? We aren’t hiring more, are we? But despite the 50% travel cut, no one reduced these agencies requirements, did they?

    Or how about who defines “wasteful” programs? Bean counters aren’t rewarded for creating or justifying real value, they’re rewarded for reduction in word count in contracts, cutting dollars spent, decreasing the number of documents all in the name of efficiency. No matter that reducing words in contracts typically results in gutting the Governments’ ability to enforce requirements, or that they really need the $100 non-sparking brass tool and not the Walmart special in an ammo plant, or that requirements can lose focus and intent by being mushed together and word counted down resulting in more confusion than clarity.

    So, they cut people, cut requirements, cut funding, but increase or leave in place services and requirements, all to ensure that agencies fail so they can move their contractor buddies in to “fix” the problem and profit on the taxpayers dime.


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