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U.S. Sen. Joni Ernst (R-Iowa) introduced legislation last week that seeks to cut waste at the Pentagon by streamlining department storage facilities. The bill, “Defense Storage and Supply Efficiency Improvement Act,” would allow the Department of Defense to shut down and consolidate its warehouses and storage centers to cut costs.
The Government Accountability Office estimates such measures could save the Defense Department more than $500 million by using its distribution centers more efficiently.
Legislation - Ernst - Effort - Government - Spending
The legislation is Ernst’s latest effort to weed out wasteful government spending. She introduced a slew of proposals earlier this year that have yet to gain traction among many members in the Senate.
“We have to be those fiscal watchdogs,” Ernst said in a meeting with reporters in her office.
Ernst - Legislation - Fiscal - Responsibility - Act
Ernst’s recent legislation includes the “End-of-Year Fiscal Responsibility Act,” which limits federal agencies in the last two months of the fiscal year from spending more than the average spent per month in the ten months prior. Federal agencies are currently incentivized to spend the remainder of their allocated funds before the fiscal year is over to avoid facing budget cuts, often referred to as “use-it-or-lose-it” spending.
“This legislation would revolutionize federal procurement,” said Adam Andrzejewski, the founder and CEO of the government transparency non-profit Open the Books. Andrzejewski said by making it harder for agencies to go on spending sprees at the end of the year, it would allow government watchdogs to catch wasteful spending much sooner.
March - Report - Open - Books - Reveals
A March report from Open the Books reveals that some last-minute government spending sprees included $4.6 million on lobster and crab, $2.1 million on games, toys, and wheeled goods, and more than $300,000 on alcohol. The report also found nearly $25,000 spent on candy and almost $12,000 on a commercial Foosball table.
Ernst has also proposed the “Billion Dollar Boondoggle Act,” which requires the executive branch to...
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