Bill would cut $5B in duplicative federal spending

Wednesday - 5/11/2011, 6:08pm EDT

By Jolie Lee
Federal News Radio

Senators Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and Mark Warner (D-Va.) introduced a bill that would cut $5 billion in duplicative and overlapping government programs.

Within 150 days of the bill's passage, the Office of Management and Budget must coordinate with department heads to eliminate, consolidate or streamline the programs identified in a March 2011 Government Accountability Office report to Congress.

The GAO report addressed hundreds of federal programs that affected nearly all major federal agencies.

According to the report, "Overlap and fragmentation among government programs or activities can be harbingers of unnecessary duplication. Reducing or eliminating duplication, overlap, or fragmentation could potentially save billions of tax dollars annually and help agencies provide more efficient and effective services."

Earlier this year, President Obama said in his State of the Union address that the government must target duplicative programs.

"While $5 billion admittedly is 'small ball' when compared to this year's $1.6 trillion deficit and our $14 trillion debt, this represents a solid beginning," Warner said in a statement. "It shows we will explore every opportunity to cut costs and save taxpayer money."

The sponsors had previously introduced the bill's language as an amendment that passed the Senate last month but was later pulled out of consideration, according to a statement from Coburn and Warner.