Sen. Carper Continues to Eliminate Government Spending

Authored Two Bills Signed into Law Aimed at Using Taxpayer Dollars Wisely and Effectively

WASHINGTON – Two bills authored and championed by Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.) to help eliminate wasteful government spending were signed into law by President Bush earlier this week.

As chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Financial Management, Government Information, Federal Services and International Security, Sen. Carper has held numerous hearings on the inefficient use or waste of taxpayer dollars, including cost overruns in major weapons systems, securing cost-effective military airlift system, reducing agencies’ waste related to un-needed federal properties, mismanaging government IT projects, and reducing procurement problems that have threatened the 2010.

“Now, more than ever, taxpayers deserve to know that their hard-earned money is being used effectively,” said Sen. Carper. “Currently, the financial strain on Americans is daunting, and every dollar the government spends inefficiently is a dollar that is not helping American taxpayers deal with their own financial strains. That is why I am continuing to chip away at the federal government’s waste with these three pieces of legislation.”

Sen. Carper’s Presidential Historical Records Preservation Act of 2008 (S. 3477) will, among other things:

  – Accelerate the publication of a long-delayed project aimed at digitizing the papers of key historical figures, such as George Washington, John Adams, Thomas Jefferson and Benjamin Franklin so that scholars, students and the average citizen can more easily access these historic records;
 – Improve the National Historical and Publications Commission to protect against potential conflicts of interest;
 – Create a capital improvement plan to repair the nation’s presidential libraries;
 – Require future presidents who turn their libraries over to the National Archives to provide the resources necessary to address routine and emergency maintenance issues; and
 – Require the Archives to develop alternative models for future presidential libraries that will reduce the financial burden on the federal government and improve access for researchers and scholars.

 “These key government reforms will ensure that some of our nation’s most important treasures will be available to all Americans seeking to learn more about our past,” Sen. Carper said. “Our reform efforts of the past two years will also go a long way toward making sure our presidential libraries are run in a more financially sound manner.” 

Most provisions in S. 3477 resulted from recommendations made by witnesses at a subcommittee oversight hearing Sen. Carper chaired earlier this year.

Sen. Carper’s second piece of legislation that was signed into law yesterday will save the Postal Service millions in transportation costs. The Air Carriage of International Mail Act (S. 3536) will allow the Postal Service to negotiate directly with airlines to reduce the costs to ship international mail overseas.

Under current law, the Department of Transportation must set the rates that airlines charge the Postal Service, which the Postal Service believe are significantly higher than necessary.

The Postal Service has indicated this legislation could save it as much as $50 million. It could also save a significant amount of money for the Department of Defense, which must reimburse the Postal Service for mail it sends overseas.

“The Postal Service, with the economic slowdown and the increasing popularity of alternative methods communication, has had a rough year financially,” Sen. Carper said. “Our legislation won’t make up for all of the problems the Postal Service faces, but it will save it significant funds and make international mail less expensive and more efficient. Our efforts, in turn, should help make the Postal Service more competitive in the growing international shipping business.”