SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS; Congressional Record Vol. 157, No. 33
(Senate - March 07, 2011)

Text available as:

Formatting necessary for an accurate reading of this text may be shown by tags (e.g., <DELETED> or <BOLD>) or may be missing from this TXT display. For complete and accurate display of this text, see the PDF.

[Pages S1330-S1331]
From the Congressional Record Online through the Government Publishing Office []

                         SUBMITTED RESOLUTIONS



  Mr. HATCH (for himself and Mr. Udall of Colorado) submitted the 
following resolution; which was referred to the Committee on Rules and 

                               S. Res. 93



       There shall be a Senate committee known as the Committee to 
     Reduce Government Waste (referred to in this resolution as 
     the ``Committee'').


       (a) Composition.--The Committee shall be composed of 12 
     members as follows:
       (1) 4 members from the Committee on Finance, 2 selected by 
     the Majority Leader and 2 selected by the Minority Leader.
       (2) 4 members from the Committee on Appropriations, 2 
     selected by the Majority Leader and 2 selected by the 
     Minority Leader.
       (3) 4 members from the Committee on the Budget, 2 selected 
     by the Majority Leader and 2 selected by the Minority Leader.
       (b) Tenure of Office.--
       (1) Period of appointment.--Members shall be appointed for 
     a period of not to exceed 6 years.
       (2) Exceptions.--No person shall continue to serve as a 
     member of the Committee after the person has ceased to be a 
     member of the Committee from which the member was chosen.
       (c) Vacancies.--Any vacancy in the Committee shall not 
     affects its powers, but shall be filled in the same manner as 
     the original appointment.
       (d) Chairman and Vice Chairman.--The Committee shall select 
     a Chairman and Vice Chairman from among its members.
       (e) Quorum.--A majority of the members of the Committee 
     shall constitute a quorum, but a lesser number of members may 
     hold hearings. The powers conferred upon them by section 4 
     may be exercised by a majority vote.

     SEC. 3. DUTIES.

       (a) In General.--The Committee shall have the following 
       (1) Study.--The Committee shall--
       (A) research, review, and study Federal programs that are 
     underperforming or nonessential; and
       (B) determine which Federal programs should be modified or 
       (2) Recommend.--The Committee shall develop recommendations 
     to the Senate for action designed to modify or eliminate 
     underperforming or nonessential Federal programs.
       (3) Report and legislation.--The Committee shall submit to 
     the Senate--
       (A) at least once a year, reports including--
       (i) a detailed statement of the findings and conclusions of 
     the Committee; and
       (ii) a list of underperforming or nonessential Federal 
     programs; and
       (B) such legislation and administrative actions as it 
     considers appropriate.
       (b) Consideration of Legislation.--Any legislation 
     submitted to the Senate by the Committee shall be considered 
     under the provisions of section 310 of the Congressional 
     Budget Act of 1974 (2 U.S.C. 641).

     SEC. 4. POWERS.

       (a) Hearings.--The Committee or, at its direction, any 
     subcommittee or member of the Committee, may, for the purpose 
     of carrying out the provisions of section 3--
       (1) sit and act, at any time, during the sessions, 
     recesses, and adjourned periods of Congress;
       (2) require as the Committee considers necessary, by 
     subpoena or otherwise, the attendance of witnesses and the 
     production of books, papers, and documents;
       (3) administer oaths and take testimony; and
       (4) procure necessary printing and binding.
       (b) Witness Allowances and Fees.--The provisions of section 
     1821 of title 28, United States Code, shall apply to 
     witnesses requested to appear at any hearing of the 
     Committee. The per diem and mileage allowances for witnesses 
     shall be paid from funds available to pay the expenses of the 
       (c) Expenditures.--The Committee, or any subcommittee 
     thereof, is authorized to make such expenditures as it deems 


       Except as otherwise provided by law, the Committee shall 
     have power to appoint and fix the compensation of the Chief 
     of Staff of the Committee and such experts and clerical, 
     stenographic, and other assistants as it deems advisable.


       The expenses of the Committee shall be paid from the 
     contingent fund of the Senate.

  Mr. HATCH. Mr. President, our Nation's fiscal situation has reached a 
tipping point. The debt held by the public now exceeds $9 trillion. We 
are now in our third year of trillion dollar deficits. According to the 
Congressional Budget Office, by the end of 2011, our debt will be $10.4 
trillion. This represents 69 percent of GDP, the highest level since 
  The picture only gets uglier if you take into account other factors. 
Our total public debt outstanding is over $14 trillion. Moreover, if 
you assume that certain things that always happen will continue to 
happen things like the AMT patch, tax relief for families and 
businesses, and a ``doc-fix'' our debt will soon be nearly 100 percent 
of GDP.
  This is, quite simply, unsustainable. If we do not act now to get a 
handle on this spending, the nation that gave boundless opportunity to 
generations of Americans will not be there for our children and 
grandchildren. With interest payments on all this debt set to grow from 
$225 billion in 2011 to $792 billion in 2021, we are approaching a 
fiscal death spiral.
  Congress could go a long way simply by reducing wasteful and 
redundant government spending. Last week, in response to a request from 
my colleague from Oklahoma, Dr. Coburn, the Government Accountability 
Office released a report identifying between $100 and $200 billion in 
wasteful spending on redundant government programs alone.
  Dr. Coburn has been doing yeoman's work burrowing into the federal 
budget to find the sources of wasteful spending, but getting this 
report from GAO

[[Page S1331]]

is, in my view, his greatest achievement to date. He has given Congress 
a roadmap for cuts that really should be no-brainers.
  But Congress' record on securing cuts is less than stellar. Ronald 
Reagan once said that nothing comes closer to eternal life than a 
government program. Congress' committee structure is set up to 
authorize and reauthorize new programs. It is set up to appropriate 
money for those programs.
  But there are few institutionalized forums in Congress for spending 
  That is why I am introducing today, with my colleague from Colorado, 
Senator Mark Udall, a Senate Resolution that will create a Committee to 
Reduce Government Waste. After last week's GAO report, there is no 
longer any doubt that the Federal Government is deluged with wasteful, 
non-performing, and underperforming programs.
  This committee would be required, every year, to identify wasteful 
government programs and recommend legislation to either cut them or 
reduce them in scope.
  Most importantly, the consideration of this legislation would be 
expedited, subject to Section 310 of the Congressional Budget Act.
  There is a precedent for a committee such as this one. In response to 
the rising costs of World War II, Senator Harry F. Byrd of Virginia 
proposed the establishment of a committee to cut wasteful programs 
instead of raising taxes. In just three years, the committee cut 
wasteful programs, resulting in more than $38 billion in today's 
dollars. Given the growth of government in the intervening 6 decades, I 
expect that our anti-appropriations committee will have an even easier 
time identifying wasteful spending and programs today.
  This would be a truly bipartisan committee, with 4 members, 2 
Republicans and 2 Democrats, from each of the Senate Finance, Budget, 
and Appropriations Committees.
  Ultimately, getting our budget deficits and structural debt under 
control is going to take meaningful action from both sides of the 
aisle. This needs to be a bipartisan process, and I could not be more 
pleased that I am being joined in this effort by my Democratic 
colleague from Colorado, Senator Udall.
  The American people have spoken loud and clear. Every day families 
make tough choices to balance their books, and they expect Congress to 
do the same. Dozens of groups, representing millions of American 
taxpayers, have come together to ask Congress to support a committee 
devoted to eliminating government waste.
  I look forward to working with my colleagues on enacting this 
resolution. Senators hear every day from interest groups seeking more 
money from the Federal Government. They are well organized, well 
financed, and well versed in the ways of the Senate. The committee we 
are proposing will make sure that the citizens who have to foot the 
bill for all of this government spending will have a venue where their 
concerns take precedence.