Citizens Against Government Waste (CAGW) has named House Appropriations Committee Chairman Rodney Frelinghuysen (R-N.J.) Porker of the Month for earmarking $900 million for a massive transportation boondoggle. On September 24, the House of Representatives passed the Make America Secure and Prosperous Appropriations Act, which included Chairman Frelinghuysen’s $900 million earmark for the Gateway infrastructure project, which is designed to double passenger rail service under the Hudson River from Newark, N.J. to New York City. Similar to projects like The Big Dig in Boston, Gateway’s costs are growing rapidly, and the tunnel portion of the project was already cancelled once by New Jersey Governor Chris Christie (R) in 2010 because it was “just not a financially viable project.” CAGW President Tom Schatz remarked, “Chairman Frelinghuysen’s end-run around the budget process to fund a cost-prohibitive local project is exactly why Congress should enact a permanent earmark ban.” For abusing the appropriations process to earmark a wasteful project, Rep. Frelinghuysen is the September Porker of the Month
CAGW Releases Prime Cuts 2017
CAGW this month released Prime Cuts 2017, the latest edition of waste-cutting recommendations that would pare down the federal government’s bloated budget by eliminating unnecessary and ineffective federal programs. Prime Cuts 2017 includes 607 recommendations from bipartisan and nonpartisan sources. If all the cuts were enacted, taxpayers would save $336.2 billion in the first year and $2.3 trillion over five years. With the fiscal year 2017 budget deficit estimated at $693 billion, the implementation of all the Prime Cuts recommendations would balance the budget in three years. The commonsense waste cuts include proposals like ending the outdated sugar subsidy and eliminating the wasteful and duplicative Denali and Appalachian Regional Commissions. There are no “sacred cows” in Prime Cuts 2017, including the Department of Defense. Reforms like eliminating the earmark for the F-35 Joint Strike Fighter would save taxpayers $500 million and free up funds to go to genuine national security priorities.
CAGW Testifies Before Senate Commerce Committee
CAGW’s Director of Technology & Telecommunications Policy, Deborah Collier, testified on September 6 before the Senate Committee on Commerce, Science, and Transportation on the “Risk of Waste, Fraud and Abuse in the Federal Communications Commission’s Lifeline Program.” Americans first became familiar with the Lifeline program, widely known as the Obamaphone program, when a 2012 video of a Cleveland woman touting the “free” phones went viral. In her testimony, Collier noted that Lifeline began as a support program to subsidize low-income earners’ access to telephone service for emergencies, but has now expanded to include a choice between a landline telephone, a wireless phone, or broadband internet access. The Government Accountability Office has found multiple examples of abuse of the program, from the sale of the taxpayer-subsidized phones on Craigslist to program beneficiaries’ violating the one phone per household restriction by signing up with numerous carriers. To combat this abuse, Collier advised the committee that Congress should require a stricter front-end verification process and more stringent enforcement actions against companies that register ineligible or duplicate recipients.
CCAGW Joins Pro-Growth Tax Reform Coalition
The Council for Citizens Against Government Waste (CCAGW) joined a coalition of more than 20 organizations in sending a letter to House Ways and Means Committee Chairman Kevin Brady (R-Texas) in support of pro-growth tax reform this month. The letter encourages Chairman Brady and members of Congress to dramatically simplify the tax code to make it easier for individuals and businesses to file their taxes; to lower tax rates for individuals so American families can keep more of their hard-earned dollars; and to reduce business taxes to make American companies more competitive globally and spur economic growth and job creation domestically. The letter is CCAGW’s latest effort in the fight for tax reform, following a grassroots campaign that has delivered more than 15,000 letters to Capitol Hill.
source–rep rodney frelinghuysen-CAGW, citizens against gov waste, the daily caller, newsmax, deborah collier, tom schatz.