Lawmakers target government waste and inefficiency in slew of new bills

Eighty-one members of Congress introduced a nine-bill package addressing everything from strategic sourcing to cutting federal employee travel to improving ener...

By Melissa Dawkins and Shefali Kapadia

A bipartisan coalition of 81 members of Congress introduced a legislative package composed of nine separate bills that target government waste and inefficiency.

The legislators announced the package July 18 at a No Labels Coalition rally in Washington. No Labels is a non- partisan coalition pushing to solve the government’s problems.

Duplication Elimination Act of 2013 (H.R. 2506)

Sponsored by Rep. Charles Dent (R-Pa.)

The bill seeks to consolidate duplicative government programs as identified by the Government Accountability Office. It would require the president to send Congress a proposed joint resolution specifying recommendations within 90 days of the annual GAO report.

“The General Accounting Office [sic] basically said ‘Here’s how you can save not millions, not hundreds of millions, but billions of dollars,'” Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) said in a video released Thursday. “This is something Republicans and Democrats can and should agree on, and I think will agree on.”

Manchin described the bill as a “common sense approach.”

The legislation says any savings acquired from eliminating the duplications will go to the Treasury’s general fund and be used to reduce the deficit.

No Adding, No Padding Act (H.R. 2686)

Sponsored by Rep. Kurt Schrader (D-Ore.)

“The problem with government spending today is too much of it is on automatic pilot,” Schrader said in a video. “That’s not the way we run our homes or our businesses.”

The bill would require federal agencies to justify budget increases by removing inflation as a factor in automatic agency budget increases.

Buy Smarter and Save Act of 2013 (S. 1304, H.R. 2694)

Sponsored by Rep. Tim Griffin (R-Ariz.) and Sen. Mark Begich (D-Alaska)

The bill aims to promote bulk purchasing and strategic sourcing across agencies.

“The federal government spends about $500 billion a year, uncoordinated in the sense of their purchasing of goods and services, throughout the government,” Begich said in a video. “We should do everything we can to buy in bulk and save taxpayer money.”

Stay in Place, Cut the Waste Act of 2013 (H.R. 2643)

Sponsored by Rep. Mike Fitzpatrick (R-Pa.).

The bill would reduce agency travel by 50 percent by increasing the use of video conferencing.

No Budget, No Pay Act (S. 124, H.R. 310)

Sponsored by Rep. Jim Cooper (D-Tenn.) and Sen. Dean Heller (R-Nev.)

The legislation would not let Congress be paid unless lawmakers agree on a budget and all spending bills by Oct. 1, the start of the fiscal year.

President Barack Obama signed a similar measure on Feb. 4, 2013.

Take the Time, Save the Dime Act (S. 554, H.R. 1869)

Sponsored by Rep. Reid Ribble (R-Wis.) and Sen. Johnny Isakson (R-Ga.)

The bill sets a new two-year budgeting cycle for the government.

21st Century Healthcare for Heroes Act (S. 1296, H.R. 2590)

Sponsored by Rep. Chris Gibson (R-N.Y.) and Sen. Bill Nelson (D-Fla.)

The bill seeks to streamline electronic medical care records between the departments of Defense and Veterans Affairs.

Wasted Energy, Wasted Dollars Act (S. 1308, H.R. 2689)

Sponsored by Rep. Cory Gardner (R-Colo.) and Chris Coons (D-Del.)

The bill aims at making federal buildings more energy efficient by paying companies who make the improvements out of the savings achieved.

Plan for Efficient and Effective Government Act (S. 1297, H.R. 2675)

Sponsored by Rep. Cheri Bustos (D-Ill.) and Sen. Mark Kirk (R-Ill.)

The bill would create a bipartisan coalition to identify cost-saving measures across the federal government.

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