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Senators propose commission to evaluate federal agencies, cut wasteful spending

The goal of the group would be to save taxpayer dollars

Sen. Rick Scott in June 2019
Sen. Rick Scott in June 2019
(Tom Brenner/Getty Images)
Updated: May 13, 2020 - 11:30pm

The Facts Inside Our Reporter’s Notebook

Four Republican senators are introducing legislation that seeks to eliminate government waste by establishing a bipartisan commission tasked with reviewing federal agencies and furnishing cost-cutting recommendations.

The Agency Accountability Act proposed by Florida Sen. Rick Scott, Idaho Sen. Mike Crapo, Indiana Sen. Mike Braun and North Carolina Sen. Thom Tillis calls for the creation of a bipartisan Federal Agency Sunset Commission. 

The 13-person commission would be comprised of people appointed by House and Senate majority and minority leaders and one person appointed by the president. Of the three appointees made by each of the majority and minority leaders, two must be appointed from members of the respective chamber of Congress and one must be appointed from outside.

At a minimum the group would need to evaluate all federal agencies and advisory commissions one time each six years and then provide a recommendation about whether those entities should be reorganized, nixed or remain the same.

If the commission suggests changing or dispensing with a government entity, it is supposed to provide Congress with proposed legislative language to carry out the suggested changes. If the commission recommends no change it is supposed to explain its evaluation to Congress in a report.

“This year’s federal budget deficit will be the largest in the history of our nation. Congress has to get serious about how we are spending taxpayer dollars," Scott said. 

"An easy way to do that is to routinely examine efficiencies at our federal agencies. I did it on the state level as Governor of Florida, and it saved Florida taxpayers millions of dollars," he added. "The Agency Accountability Act will help eliminate the waste and redundancies that we see throughout the federal government, and is a common sense way to help make Washington work.”

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