McMorris Rodgers Introduces Unauthorized Spending Accountability Act to End “Zombie” Programs

Washington, D.C. (March 18, 2021) – Eastern Washington Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers (WA-05) today re-introduced her Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act. The USA Act aims to restore the American people’s “power of the purse” by eliminating unauthorized spending or “Zombie” programs — spending on government programs that haven’t been authorized by the people’s representatives in Congress. Learn more about “Zombie” programs by clicking here.

“We have a fiscal crisis in America today. Too much of the federal government is on autopilot, and it’s up to Congress to address it,” said Rodgers. “The USA Act is simple — it makes sure that every penny of taxpayer money is subject to the scrutiny of the American people who are footing the bill. It means effectively reviewing, rethinking, and possibly eliminating programs that are no longer needed. It’s time for Congress to restore the power of the purse and end unauthorized spending.”

The following organizations have issued statements in support of the USA Act:

“The Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act is an obvious step toward getting our fiscal house in order. Unauthorized appropriations are an increasingly large chunk of the federal budget, and our more than $23 trillion national debt necessitates that we take action. The USA Act is a straightforward option for getting Congress to follow its own rules, and we strongly urge every member of Congress to support this legislation.” – Jonathan Bydlak, R Street Institute

“Authorization and appropriation are separate in the “regular order” budget process to ensure that programs are evaluated before receiving taxpayer dollars. This makes it harder for Congress to waste money on ineffective, self-serving, or controversial programs. If Congress continues to ignore or selectively enforce this process, billions of dollars will continue to flow to agencies and programs with little to no oversight. Heritage Action applauds Congresswoman McMorris Rodgers for introducing this bill and encourages members of Congress to support it.”  Garrett Bess, Heritage Action for America

“American families and businesses are frustrated with being on the hook for the seemingly endless federal spending that occurs every year. Compounding that frustration for many is the fact that a growing proportion of such spending goes toward financing government programs that are set on autopilot and, as such, escape virtually all Congressional oversight. The Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act lends guidance to many Americans’ wishes of restoring regular order and accountability to the budget process by requiring routine scrutiny of these often wasteful zombie programs. Lawmakers that are serious about reversing the trend of runaway spending in Washington should support McMorris Rodgers’s legislation that gets at the heart of the problem of unauthorized spending.” – Brent Gardner, American’s for Prosperity

“Congresswoman Cathy McMorris Rodgers should be commended for reintroducing the Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act. This commonsense legislation sets Congress back on a path of fiscal accountability by requiring all unauthorized federal programs to be reauthorized or sunset. Lawmakers should support this proposal.” – Alex Hendrie, Americans for Tax Reform

“The USA Act is an excellent piece of legislation that will bring more accountability and oversight to federal spending. National Taxpayers Union is pleased to endorse this bill, the passage of which would be a huge win for taxpayers.” – National Taxpayers Union

“IWV is proud to support the Unauthorized Spending Accountability (USA) Act and thanks Representative McMorris Rodgers for her leadership on this important issue. Given that our federal debt is soaring to unprecedented and alarming levels, it is more critical than ever that we work to eliminate wasteful spending and protect taxpayers. We urge all Members of Congress to work toward the bill’s swift passage and take a meaningful step towards restoring fiscal accountability in government.” – Hadley Heath Manning, Independent Women’s Voice

NOTE: Currently, the U.S. spends more than $300 billion every single year on programs that are not authorized to receive funding.

Read a summary of the USA Act by clicking here.

Read the bill text by clicking here

Stay up to date on the USA Act by visiting


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