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Commentary – Working to Eliminate Government Waste

Working to reduce government waste is a significant undertaking and one to which I remain firmly dedicated. It is critical to ensure that the Congress responsibly manages federal spending, especially our tax dollars, to fund our nation’s priorities through greater transparency and accountability.  That is why I have worked to rein in wasteful and unnecessary spending by voting for the tightest budgets offered and supporting reductions in overall government spending.  Responsible spending benefits everyone and I strongly believe that all federal programs should undergo scrutiny in order to ensure that they are working effectively to meet the needs of our citizens.  Those that are not should be reformed or repealed.

Recently, the nonpartisan General Accounting Office, known as the GAO, released its first annual report identifying duplicative and wasteful government programs, agencies and offices.  The report details billions of dollars spent on redundant federal programs at a time when the government is already spending money that it does not have.  This is simply unacceptable.

Specifically, the GAO found that there are 100 federal programs dealing with surface transportation issues totaling $58 billion annually, 80 federal programs for economic development totaling $6.5 billion, and 17 different federal grant programs for disaster preparedness totaling $34 billion. The report found that there are 82 federal programs monitoring teacher quality totaling $4 billion.  This includes nine separate programs for science and technology which are administered by five different agencies. The report also found that at least 5 departments, 8 agencies and more than 24 presidential appointees oversee programs related to bioterrorism totaling $6.48 billion.

A thorough and careful review of all our federal agencies and programs must be done to root out any waste, fraud and abuse.  We made a good start on that process with House passage of H.R. 1, which cut $61 billion from the federal budget, but as this GAO report shows there is much more work to be done.  In fact, the Leadership in the Congress has announced that the House and Senate will work together in a bipartisan way to take the necessary steps to address this alarming report.  All House Committee Chairmen have been directed to use this report to help identify appropriate cuts and terminations within their jurisdiction.

The recent GAO report on the billions of dollars that are being wasted by the federal government should serve as a road map to curtailing wasteful spending, increasing Congressional accountability, and reducing overall government spending.  I believe it is our duty as Members of Congress to exercise great care and responsibility in managing our spending priorities and I will continue working to make sure the hard-earned dollars of my constituents are handled responsibly in Congress and that wasteful government spending is stopped.

-Congressman Bob Goodlatte

To contact me about this or any other matter, please visit my website at

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