WASHINGTON, D.C. – U.S. Senator Rand Paul (R-KY), chairman of the Subcommittee on Federal Spending Oversight and Emergency Management (FSO) for the Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee (HSGAC) is holding a hearing today entitled, “Wasteful Spending in the Federal Government: An Outside Perspective.” During the hearing, Sen. Paul will highlight areas of domestic wasteful spending within the federal government and discuss possible approaches to mitigate and eliminate such waste. Senators Joni Ernst (R-IA) and Tammy Baldwin (D-WI) will also be participating in the hearing.
Witnesses testifying in the hearing include: Romina Boccia, Research Fellow at the Heritage Foundation; Tom Schatz, President of Citizens Against Government Waste; Chris Edwards, Director of Tax Policy and editor of DownsizingGovernment.org; Steve Ellis, Vice President of Taxpayers for Common Sense; and Don Kettl, Professor of Public Administration at the University of Maryland.
Below is the video and transcript of Sen. Paul’s opening remarks.
CLICK HERE TO WATCH SEN. PAUL’S OPENING REMARKS AT THE HEARING
Sen. Rand Paul: I call this hearing of the Federal Spending Oversight Subcommittee to order. The topic today is going to be government waste and how we can practically to do something to curb waste, but also to ameliorate the problem we have with the growing deficit. We have a deficit this year that is expected to be about $583 billion and some we say we are fixing the deficit because it’s getting smaller, yet the overall debt is growing enormously larger.
We have about a million dollars that we borrow every minute and I think this is a threat to our economy and some economists said that it’s costing us millions of jobs just because of the burden of this debt. So what we are going to do is talk about some of the waste and some of this has been talked about in the past, but my hope is from the discussion today we can actually itemize some of this.
And as we itemize this, and then actually give advice to some of the people who spend it, the committee’s that spend this. And too often we have reports and they never get acted upon. The new majority has said that we are going to try to pass all of the Appropriations bills. There is a great deal of power to the purse, if we’ll actually use it. It’s what the expression is supposed to mean, we’re supposed to express how we like the money to be spent.
But if you don’t have Appropriations bills, you’re lumped all together in some OMNIBUS or Continuing Resolution you lose your power as to direct how to spend it and as a consequence we never eliminate any of the waste. I’ve seen very little examples that we eliminate any waste we determine, but it is my hope to not just have a discussion, but to have a conclusion to actually have a blueprint for how we can get rid of government waste.