Laura Hatalsky contributed to this post.
In a commendable act of bipartisan collaboration, Representatives Jim Cooper (D-TN), Aaron Schock (R-IL), Mike Quigley (D-IL), and Joe Walsh (R-IL) have just introduced legislation that takes aim at inefficient, underperforming, and duplicative programs within the federal government. The Federal Program Sunset Commission Act (H.R. 606) establishes a standing body, comprised of former Members of Congress and experts from both political parties, and charges it with analyzing and evaluating the efficiency of government programs administered throughout all federal agencies. The Commission is authorized to recommend termination or consolidation for programs that it deems ineffective.
This concept represents the type of originality that our nation needs to tackle its challenges, and deserves serious consideration by Congress. In our current fiscal situation, we cannot afford to continue having taxpayer dollars support duplicative and outdated federal programs simply because we lack the political willpower to make tough decisions.
This proposal, dealing with government waste, will not alone solve the serious debt problems that the United States faces, but a commission along these lines represents a step forward. This should be part of a bipartisan and comprehensive effort by our nation’s leaders, to address our fiscal imbalance, and return the country to a sustainable and prosperous path.