This week, Senator James Lankford pleased fans of both football and cutting government waste when he published the fourth edition of his special report, Federal Fumbles. Senator Lankford focuses on areas where the government has “fumbled” (blatant inefficiencies) and how these fumbles can be recovered. He also highlights where the government has scored “touchdowns” or made “forward progress.”
This year’s Federal Fumbles adds a new wrinkle to the approach to federal waste. Senator Lankford opens the report by stating that this version “focus[es] not only on waste of your tax dollars but also on waste in good government policy that prevents the federal government from working for you….”
One such fumble is the recent government shutdown, which cost the US economy $18 billion. To prevent damaging shutdowns like this in the future, Lankford introduced the Prevent Government Shutdowns Act. He states, “The idea is simple: if Congress fails to get its work done by the end of the fiscal year, the government stays open and funded at the previous year’s levels.” The proposal also puts pressure on Congress to act, “prevent[ing] any travel for Congress or the President’s Cabinet until the funding conversation is complete.”
A few tax dollar federal fumbles are also highlighted in the report. One case involved over $50,000 that was awarded by the National Endowment for the Humanities to a professor at Sonoma State University to study “the ways Russia used its wine industry to befriend Europe during the Russian Empire and the Soviet eras.”
One of the “touchdowns” Lankford discusses is removing Russian Kaspersky software from government computers, a fumble discussed in the 2017 edition of Federal Fumbles. Thanks to Lankford’s efforts, “As of 2018, Kaspersky software has been kicked off all US government computers.”
Just as with past editions, which NTU highlighted here and here, this year’s Federal Fumbles is a win for Senator Lankford and everyday taxpayers. We commend Senator Lankford in his efforts to hold the government responsible for its inefficiencies and encourage other lawmakers to do the same. If lawmakers work hard for taxpayers, Team USA can go all the way.