New Senate Bill Targets Administrative Costs
Two senators have introduced legislation today that targets the growing administrative and overhead costs at federal agencies. The measure would require federal agencies to start listing administrative and overhead costs with budget requests and calls for an 11 percent cut in such expenses by 2013.
Agencies currently do not list anticipated administrative or overhead expenses. President Clinton attempted to mandate such reporting with a 1993 executive order that never caught on.
The bill, introduced by Sens. Byron Dorgan (D-N.D.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), comes amid a growing appetite for anything that curtails government waste, fraud and abuse. President Obama reiterated his support for pay-as-you-go budgeting last weekend and said he hopes agencies could keep some of the money saved from cost-cutting measures, a principle tried in many local and state governments with some success.
“During tough economic times, businesses tighten their belts and cut their overhead costs. Government should do the same,” Dorgan said in a statement. “This bill is an important step towards ensuring that taxpayer dollars are being used for critical programs that help American families and businesses -- not for unnecessary administrative costs.“
Coburn agreed, stating that “There is no reason Congress cannot adhere to the same principles as taxpayers are using when prioritizing spending."
Both senators have developed reputations as fiscal conservatives: Coburn is a frequent critic of spending measures advanced by members of both parties while Dorgan, a member of the Senate Appropriations Committee, has long concerned himself with issues related to government waste, fraud and abuse.
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