Lawmakers Form House-Senate Effort to Eliminate Duplicative Government Programs

Matthew McKillip /

Sen. Tom Coburn (R-OK) has a powerful ally in the fight to eliminate wasteful duplication in government programs: House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-VA) announced the two lawmakers are teaming up for a bipartisan, House-Senate effort to eliminate overlapping and unaccountable government services that cost taxpayers more than $100 billion a year.

A recent Government Accountability Office report on government waste revealed the extent of duplication. Now the two Republicans want Congress to do something about it. Cantor has directed House committee chairmen to look at the GAO’s recommendations for savings.

“In the coming days we will be working to set up a process so that members from the various affected committees can work together to propose crosscutting solutions, focusing on at least three specific areas that we can address most quickly,” Cantor said. “Families and businesses throughout the country have tightened their belts and are doing more with less and they deserve a government that spends their money like they do.”

The GAO was initiated by a 94-0 vote in the Senate last year. Cantor and Coburn, who have already partnered with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-MD), believe the undeniably wasteful and overlapping programs will make for a strong bipartisan effort.

On the Senate side, Coburn has introduced legislation based on GAO’s findings and will introduce more bills and amendments throughout the year.

“The federal government,” he said, “is on an unsustainable course. If we don’t make these choices ourselves the rest of the world will force us to make hard choices.”

Matthew McKillip is currently a member of the Young Leaders Program at The Heritage Foundation.