The Honorable Todd Tiahrt
United States House of Representatives
2441 Rayburn House Office Building
Washington, DC 20515
Dear Representative Tiahrt:
On behalf of the 362,000 members of the National Taxpayers Union (NTU), I write in support of H.R. 1802, your Commission on the Accountability and Review of Federal Agencies Act (CARFA). This bill would establish a commission charged with the task of submitting to Congress a review of federal operations and accompanying legislation to eliminate or realign duplicative, inefficient, or unnecessary functions.
Currently, Washington lacks institutional mechanisms to reform government programs free from the political influence of powerful public officials. One need look no further than the waste of the National Drug Intelligence Center and the USDA's Market Access Program. While a periodic commission that is permanently established in law would be of the most value to taxpayers, your legislation creating a one-time entity is a step in the right direction.
CARFA would create a system similar to the military's Base Realignment and Closure Commission (BRAC). BRAC has been very successful in creating a streamlined, nonpartisan approach to assessing military installations. In fact, the 2005 round of BRAC is estimated to save taxpayers $15 billion over 20 years. Establishing a spending commission that possesses the power to systematically review agencies and programs could allow the government to find billions of dollars in savings. In addition, requiring the application of these savings to deficit reduction will prevent tax dollars from being squandered a second time.
In tough economic times, families have had to make hard choices in their own budgets simply to get by. Unlike ordinary Americans, Congress is demonstrably unwilling to make sacrifices to balance the budget by addressing wasteful, duplicative, and outdated agencies or programs. NTU strongly supports H.R. 1802 and its goal of finally addressing rampant federal overspending. Any roll call votes on this bill will be significantly weighted in our annual Rating of Congress.
Director of Government Affairs