Cornyn again proposes commission to end programs

By Jory Heckman
Federal News Radio

Following the Obama administration’s announcement of the Campaign to Cut Government Waste on Monday, Sen. John Cornyn (R-Texas) called on the White House to adopt a federal sunset committee that would look for waste in the federal budget.

“Thousands of duplicative federal programs waste hundreds of billions of taxpayer dollars every year, and my proposal will bring a successful, proven program from Texas to Washington,” said Cornyn in a statement.

President Obama’s deficit commission suggested adoption of the Texas Sunset Advisory Commission model to work into a federal program.

Since 1977, the TSAC has cut dozens of state-level programs that have outlived their purpose and saved taxpayers millions of dollars.

Cornyn recently filed his amendment to the Economic Development Administration reauthorization bill to create an eight-member commission of four senators and four representatives. The commission would make recommendations on committees that need to be reformed or eliminated completely.

The Bush administration also came up with the idea of a sunset commission, submitting it to Congress in the fiscal 2006 budget request, and again in 2007 and 2008. Also in 2007, Cornyn introduce legislation to create such a board.

The Congressional Research Service found in a 2008 review of sunset commission proposals that there were more than 70 bills introduced in the 94th Congress (1975- 1976) proposing various sunset arrangements, and sunset measures have continued to be introduced in each subsequent Congress. The only floor action occurred in the 95th Congress when in October 1978 the Senate passed the Program Reauthorization and Evaluation Act.

Jory Heckman is an intern with Federal News Radio.

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