Economic Development Administration (EDA) | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

Economic Development Administration (EDA)

Letters to Officials

May 8, 2012

U.S. House of Representatives
Washington, D.C. 20515

Dear Representative,

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kans.) will soon introduce an amendment to eliminate the Economic Development Administration (EDA). On behalf of the more than one million members and supporters of the Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW), I urge you to support this legislation.

The Economic Development Administration (EDA), established in 1965 to assist “economically distressed areas” through grants and other investments, has become a symbol of waste and duplication in government. EDA is one of at least 80 federal economic development programs spread over four departments. A 1999 Government Accountability Office report found that EDA spending often had no affect on employment, and that “larger counties with higher levels of unemployment tend to receive the most grants,” which contradicts the agency’s mission.

Despite having an extensive track record of failure, the EDA has doled out $1.2 billion in grants since 2005. The fiscal year 2012 House Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill includes $253 million for the EDA. It is time to stop wasting taxpayer dollars on ineffective programs.

Rep. Pompeo’s bill would eliminate the EDA, effective on the first day of the fiscal year beginning after the enactment of the legislation. The termination of the EDA is included in CAGW’s 2011 Prime Cuts, a compendium of waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $391.9 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years. The Republican Study Committee estimates that eliminating the EDA would save $293 million in the first year and $1.47 billion over five years.

At a time when the national debt has surpassed $14.7 trillion and lawmakers are scrambling to cut federal spending, the EDA should be on the chopping block. This bill would lead to the largest termination of a government agency in decades and represent a step in right direction toward downsizing the federal government. I strongly urge you to support Rep. Pompeo’s amendment. All votes on            will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2012 Congressional Ratings.


Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW

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