The WasteWatcher: The Staff Blog of Citizens Against Government Waste

Congress

Seeing Double: Yes, Even More Duplication!

As part of a continuing series, CAGW is providing you with examples of duplication and overlap within the federal government that has been researched by the Government Accountability Office (GAO).  In the 2011 GAO annual report, “Opportunities to Reduce Potential Duplication in Government Programs, Save Tax Dollars, and Enhance Revenue,” the agency offers 81 suggestions on where cost-saving ideas could be implemented.  Here is another example from the report.

CAGW's Prime Cuts Hones in On Programmatic Waste

Every year, Citizens Against Government Waste produces Prime Cuts, a comprehensive list of spending cuts that could be used by Congress to reduce spending and keep the budget under the Budget Control Act spending caps.  Here are just a few of the programs CAGW includes in its Prime Cuts report.

Eliminate the Rural Utilities Service

1-Year Savings: $9.6 billion

5-Year Savings: $48.1 billion

Just Words?

Yesterday, The Daily Caller highlighted a continuing issue I have with the Obama Administration and that is using words that attempt to hide or do not describe what the government is talking about.  For example, the President constantly uses the word “revenue” instead of taxes and “investment” instead of more government spending.  But that is not the only example.

Will Earmarks Make a Comeback?

In today’s (August 26, 2013 ) National Journal, there is a column by Fawn Johnson entitled, “Does the Earmark Moratorium Hurt Congress?” (The National Journal is a subscription service and I think you might still see it, but if not I describe it anyway.)

Obamacare: Defund or Delay?

Before the 113th Congress left town in early August for their five-week “summer recess,” they kicked yet another can down the road.  On the one hand, it wasn’t time-sensitive enough that action couldn’t wait until their return on September 9.  On the other, because of the hoopla surrounding it before their departure, they left themselves open to potential criticism when facing their constituents back home over the break.

Lame Brain Drain

I am not suggesting that the Congressional staffers who may be seeking greener career pastures (due to changes in health care benefits) are “lame brains;” however, if they are responsible for most of the madness that emanates from Capitol Hill, I may have to reassess.  Rather, the much-ballyhooed, “sky-is-falling” brouhaha over the potential for intellectual flight from the Senate and House office buildings is itself a bit lame.

The Article 1 President

All legislative Powers herein granted shall be vested in a Congress of the United States, which shall consist of a Senate and House of Representatives.

As the U.S. Constitution clearly states, it is the Legislative Branch that writes law.  The role of the Executive Branch and the president is to enforce the laws.  But disturbingly, the Obama Administration has changed another provision in Obamacare or the Affordable Care Act (ACA). 

The Fix is In...

The deal has been made; Congress and President Obama figured out a way to provide continued subsidies for healthcare premiums for congressional staff.  The Office of Personnel Management (OPM) just released the proposed regulation, which can be found here.

Gridlock is Good

Last week, the NBC News and the WSJ released a poll on Congress’s and President Obama’s approval ratings.  The Wall Street Journal states, “Rising frustration over partisan gridlock in Washington has damaged faith both in President Barack Obama and lawmakers on Capitol Hill, with disapproval of Congress hitting an all-time high.”  According the results, some 56% of the adults polled believe that Congress has been too inflexible in dealing with the president.  But in the same poll, some 48% of the pa

Farm Bill, Part 2: Divide (the Bill) and Conquer (the Conservatives?)

Rep. Frank D. Lucas (R-Okla.), Chairman of the House Agriculture Committee, has proposed a strategy to move the chamber’s recently failed 2013 Farm Bill forward to passage by the House and on to conference with the Senate’s already passed version.  Stung by the unprecedented defeat of a recurring piece of legislation once considered “must pass” by previous Congresses, Chairman Lucas is apparently threatening the old adage of “be careful what you ask for, you may get it.”

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