House Committee Passes McMorris Rodgers Bill to Rein In Unauthorized, Wasteful Spending

USA Act Would Review, Rethink $510 Billion in Spending on “Zombie” Programs

Washington, D.C. – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) released the following statement after the House Committee on Oversight and Accountability passed her Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act (H.R. 4435). This legislation would restore the American people’s “power of the purse” and review wasteful spending on government programs that haven’t been authorized by the people’s representatives in Congress.

“As the people’s representatives in Congress, we have an obligation under Article 1 of the Constitution to responsibly determine how money is spent. Both parties’ failure to do that has led to the inexplicable funding of more than $500 billion in programs without review or approval. This misuse of taxpayer dollars is a dangerous symptom of the reckless spending and lack of accountability the American people have grown tired of,” said Rodgers. “The Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act will restore the people’s power of the purse, fix our broken budget process, and help us get back to fiscal responsibility. This is an idea whose time has come, and I’m grateful to my colleagues on the Oversight Committee for helping me advance it today.”

First introduced in 2016, the Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act aims to restore the “power of the purse” to the American people as outlined in Article I of the Constitution. The numbers are staggering. “Zombie” government spending programs — those programs which have not been reauthorized by the people’s representatives in Congress — account for roughly $510 billion in government spending, according to a report by the Congressional Budget Office.

What all of this means is that too much of the federal government is on autopilot, and it is preventing the American people from exercising their authority to review, rethink, and possibly eliminate government programs.

The Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act would address this problem by increasing government efficiency, ensuring the effectiveness of programs, and reducing wasteful and excessive spending. Specifically, it would responsibly phase out unauthorized programs over a three-year period. 

  • 1 Year After Expiration of Authorization: Overall budget level will be reduced by 10 percent.
  • 2 Years After Expiration of Authorization: Overall budget level will be reduced by an additional 15 percent.
  • 3 Years After Expiration of Authorization: Overall budget level will be reduced by an additional 15 percent. The program will then terminate at the end of the third unauthorized year. 

The legislation will now need to be passed by the full House of Representatives.

CLICK HERE to learn more about the USA Act.

CLICK HERE to read the bill.

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