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

The Economic Development Administration (EDA) Elimination Act

Letters to Officials

March 1, 2013

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

Dear Representative,

Rep. Mike Pompeo (R-Kans.) recently introduced H.R. 887, the Economic Development Administration (EDA) Elimination Act.  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 EDA, established in 1965 to assist “economically distressed areas” through grants and other investments, has become a symbol of waste and duplication in government.  Nevertheless, the agency continues to receive hundreds of millions of taxpayer dollars.  Many EDA projects would occur without federal government funding or intervention.  For fiscal year 2013, the House Commerce, Justice and Science appropriations bill included $182 million for the EDA.

EDA funds are often awarded with little evaluation of the recipients, and the effectiveness of the funding is difficult to determine.  A 1999 Government Accountability Office report found that EDA spending often had no effect on employment, and that “the EDA’s study may be showing only that larger counties with higher levels of unemployment tend to receive the most grants,” which contradicts the agency’s mission.

Rep. Pompeo’s bill proposes to eliminate the EDA and would take effect the first day of the fiscal year beginning after the enactment of the legislation.  The elimination of the EDA is included in CAGW’s Prime Cuts 2013, a compendium of waste-cutting recommendations that would save taxpayers $580.3 billion in the first year and $1.8 trillion over five years.  The Republican Study Committee estimated that terminating the EDA would save $1.47 billion over five years.

At a time when the national debt has surpassed $16.5 trillion and lawmakers are scrambling to find places to cut federal spending, it seems clear that the EDA should be on the chopping block.  The EDA Elimination Act would perform the largest termination of a government agency in decades and would represent a step in the right direction toward reducing the size of the federal government.  I urge you to support Rep. Pompeo’s legislation.  All votes on H.R. 887 will be among those considered in CCAGW’s 2013 Congressional Ratings.

Tom Schatz
President, CCAGW


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