CCAGW Endorses Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act | Council For Citizens Against Government Waste

CCAGW Endorses Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act

Press Release

For Immediate ReleaseContact: Curtis Kalin 202-467-5318
March 14, 2016 

(Washington, D.C.) – The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) today endorsed the Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act, introduced by House Republican Conference Chair Cathy McMorris Rodgers (R-Wash.).  The legislation would subject all currently unauthorized programs to a three-year rolling review and sunset.  It would help force the authorizing committees to conduct vigorous oversight of the programs within their jurisdiction, since failure to reauthorize them would lead to automatic spending reductions of 10 percent in the first year, and 15 percent in each of the following two years, after which they would be completely sunset.  According to the Congressional Budget Office, there are 256 unauthorized programs costing $310.4 billion in fiscal year (FY) 2016.

CCAGW President Tom Schatz said, “CCAGW has long supported the enactment of sunset legislation.  The USA Act is an important step toward the goal of subject all federal programs and agencies to a periodic review.  The number and cost of unauthorized programs is now equal to more than half of the non-defense discretionary budget, which is unnecessary and unacceptable.  The USA Act will compel authorizing committees to do their job more effectively and give taxpayers a much better idea of which programs are effective or essential, and which should be eliminated or pared back.”

CCAGW co-signed a letter with 13 other taxpayer organizations, led by the National Taxpayers Union, in support of the USA Act.  The letter stated, in part:

“Congress is already required to authorize programs before appropriating funds.  However, due to widespread and longstanding waivers of this rule, the two oldest unauthorized programs date back to the 95th and 96th Congress, and they received a total of $461 million in FY 2016.  The evidence is clear that this practice must cease, and the USA Act will help to achieve that objective.”

Schatz added, “CCAGW congratulates Conference Chair McMorris Rodgers for her leadership on this vital legislation.  She has worked hard to introduce a bill that should be supported by every member of Congress that cares about accountability and transparency.  It is unfortunate that this legislation is even necessary, because the authorization process should be functioning as intended.  Nonetheless, the USA Act should be moved quickly through the House and then the Senate so that taxpayers can at least see some progress in this area of government spending.”

The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste is the lobbying arm of Citizens Against Government Waste, the nation’s largest nonpartisan, nonprofit organization dedicated to eliminating waste, fraud, abuse, and mismanagement in government.

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