Monday, January 25, 2016

Paul looks to rein in government programs

Paul looks to rein in government programs


Sen. Rand Paul (R-Ky.) is looking to curb the size of the federal government by targeting redundant or wasteful programs.

Paul, a Republican presidential candidate, on Wednesday introduced two pieces of legislation that he says could help scale back spending.

One bill, backed by Republican Sens. Mike Enzi (Wyo.) and Jeff Sessions (Ala.), would limit authorizations to four years, though lawmakers could request a longer authorization for a specific program.

The legislation would also add hurdles before Congress can authorize a new program, including identifying the objective, any areas of potential duplication with existing programs and what potential alternatives were studied.

Enzi said the legislation would force Congress “to reexamine what we are actually funding in order to improve or eliminate government programs not delivering results.”

Under the legislation, any program that is allowed to expire would then go through a two-year drawdown.

Paul also introduced a separate proposal that would require the Obama administration find $10 billion in savings by eliminating and consolidating government programs within 150 days of the legislation being signed into law.

The administration would use reports from the Government Accountability Office on overlap and duplication to help guide their decisions on which programs to cut or merge.

It would also require the president recommend to Congress any changes that are needed to help consolidate or get rid of federal programs and require that the Congressional Budget Office report to lawmakers when a piece of legislation would create a program or office that is duplicative.