Sen. Carper Responds to Proposals to Reduce Unnecessary Spending and Improve Government Efficiency in President’s 2012 Budget

WASHINGTON – Today, Sen. Tom Carper (D-Del.), chairman of the Senate subcommittee on federal financial management, released the following statement responding to measures to address waste, fraud and abuse and improve government efficiency in President Obama’s 2012 budget proposal:

“I was encouraged by the Administration’s proposals to reduce wasteful and fraudulent spending and make the federal government more efficient and effective in its operations. Many of the cost saving initiatives outlined today add up to big savings and go a long way in our effort to make sure we get the biggest bang for the tax payer’s buck.

“Reducing unnecessary spending in everything from Medicare and Medicaid to eliminating vacant federal properties are some of the low-hanging fruit when it comes to deficit reduction, but this is the fruit that we have to harvest if we want to have any chance of making a dent in our massive deficit. The proposed ‘Do Not Pay’ list is a great example of innovation that will result in much less waste and fraud. If Congress works with the Administration to require agencies to make pre-payment checks against databases of contractors that have been disbarred and beneficiaries that are no longer eligible, improper payments can be stopped before they go out the door. The President also proposed to more aggressively sell unneeded federal property –roughly $15 billion over three years – by using an independent commission. The commission would identify properties to sell and then send that information to Congress for a final vote. Both proposals are initiatives that I’ve supported through legislation is the past and I plan on introducing legislation to reduce the federal government’s unneeded property later this year.

“I’m also pleased to see that the President’s budget released today promises immediate implementation of the GPRA Modernization Act of 2010, which I sponsored along with my colleagues in the House and Senate late last year. The over 200 termination and reduction proposals in the President’s budget today is a tough but responsible step in the right direction to merge, consolidate, and reorganize the Federal Government in a way that brings the greatest value for taxpayers.

“As chairman of the Senate subcommittee on federal financial management, I have pushed for several legislative initiatives and held countless hearings – and will continue to do so – on the very issue of how to eliminate waste and fraud within government agencies and how to make the federal government perform better and more efficiently.”