Federal Spending - Eliminating Federal Spending By Decreasing Reporting By Federal Agencies

Allison Glatfelter, Senior Analyst Saturday October 18th 2014

Since the recession began in early 2008 many in Congress, and especially House Republicans, have been eager to pass legislation that that can be labeled as eliminating wasteful government spending and duplicative efforts.   However, eliminating federal programs is difficult, it takes bipartisan cooperation, working with interest groups and concerned citizens to eliminate nearly any federal program.  Recently members of Congress have turned towards eliminating redundant agency reporting to Congress as a way to show that they are working towards making a more efficient federal government.  The Law Librarians of Washington DC state that the “federal executive departments and independent agencies as well as the President and parts of the Legislative and Judicial Branches to produce and submit to it several thousand reports” annually. In his press release to introduce S.2109, a companion to H.R.4149, Senator Mark Warner talked about unnecessary federal reports he’s encountered.

“For example, U.S. Customs and Border Protection is required by law to produce an annual report on violations of the Dog and Cat Fur Protection Act of 2000 for distribution to 14 members of Congress. However, there has been just one violation of the Dog and Cat Fur Protection Act recorded in the past five years. In addition, nearly 100 employees of the Social Security Administration spend an estimated 95 days each year producing a report on the agency’s printing activities. However, there is no evidence of any action, or reaction, from members of Congress designated to receive the report.” 

Congress has acted on three bills related to eliminating federal spending this Congress.  H.R.4194 Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 seeks to eliminate a number of reports that Federal agencies are statutorily required to submit to Congress.  H.R.4194 is aimed to be cost saving and to also improve efficiency by eliminating some time consuming and unnecessary reports by eliminating 321 reports from 29 federal agencies.  H.R.4194 has passed both the House and Senate. H.R.3628 Transportation Reports Elimination Act Of 2013 recently passed full House consideration.  H.R.3628 specifically lists certain reports agencies make to the House Transportation and Infrastructure Committee to be eliminated, this legislation passed the House and will now be considered in the Senate.  S.2109 Government Reports Elimination Act of 2014 was recently introduced in the Senate and a companion bill to H.R.4194. 

Full Listing of related bills.

H.R.4194 Government Reports Elimination Act Of 2014 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/4194/government-reports-elimination-act-of-2014/overview

H.R.3628 Transportation Reports Elimination Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/3628/transportation-reports-elimination-act-of-2013/overview

S.2109 Government Reports Elimination Act Of 2014 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/2109/government-reports-elimination-act-of-2014/overview

H.R.1715 Expedited Consideration Of Cuts, Consolidations, And Savings Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/1715/expedited-consideration-of-cuts-consolidations-and-savings-act-of-2013/overview

S.1231 Duplication Elimination Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/1231/duplication-elimination-act-of-2013/overview

H.Res.160 Congressional Oversight To Start Taxpayer Savings Resolution https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hres/160/congressional-oversight-to-start-taxpayer-savings-resolution/overview

S.1611 Federal Data Center Consolidation Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/1611/federal-data-center-consolidation-act-of-2013/overview

H.R.2506 Duplication Elimination Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/hr/2506/duplication-elimination-act-of-2013/overview

S.1297 Government Transformation Act Of 2013 https://www.votetocracy.com/bills/113/s/1297/government-transformation-act-of-2013/overview