We have a fiscal crisis in America today — too much of the federal government is on autopilot. Americans are rightly frustrated by a government that thinks it knows best. These frustrations are a symptom of the People losing our power to ensure every penny of taxpayer money and every decision by federal agencies are subject to citizens’ scrutiny.

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. This bill is simple, it ensures that every penny of taxpayer money is subject to the scrutiny of the American people. It means that the people’s representatives are doing their jobs to effectively review, rethink, and possibly eliminate programs that are no longer needed. It means restoring the power of the purse and ending unauthorized spending.

Perhaps CNN’s Jake Tapper says it best: These are Zombie Government Programs — programs that I believe prevent “We the People” from exercising our power of the purse.

Read my op-ed for CNN on why we need to beware of these zombie programs by clicking here.

History of the USA Act

First introduced in 2016, the USA 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 $310 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.

Over the last several decades — under both parties’ watch — federal departments and agencies significantly increased the scope of their rulemaking. When left unchecked by congressional oversight and not given the go-ahead by the people’s representatives, bureaucrats took it upon themselves to become lawmakers. That’s an overreach they embraced with fervor.

The American people should feel empowered through their elected representatives, but more and more they are feeling their will is ignored. With the USA Act, we can reclaim much of this authority and keep the slimy, overreaching hands of zombie government programs at bay.

In the 117th Congress, the USA Act has 25 original cosponsors and numerous outside groups voicing support.  

Learn more about the USA Act:

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What people are saying about the USA Act:

“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.”

Americans for Prosperity

“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

“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.”

Americans for Tax Reform

“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.”

Independent Women’s Voice

“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.”

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.”

Heritage Action

 View more letters of support by clicking here