Senators press Obama administration for more information on unspent federal funds

If there are upward of $1 billion in unused funds that is important for lawmakers to know "especially considering the current debate over how to reduce the federal deficit and could be instructive when making decisions about federal funding moving forward," Carper said. 

Carper and Coburn asked for an updated analysis to determine what action has been taking by Office of Management and Budget and federal agencies to track unspent funds, the current amount of those funds and the amount that hasn't beens spent for at least five and 10 years or more. 

"I am constantly looking for ways to reduce our budget deficit and taking a good, hard look at federal funds Congress has appropriated but have not yet been spent seems like a logical place to start, especially if we're talking about a billion dollars or more in unspent funds annually," Carper said. 

The federal government can do a better job making sure that every dollar in appropriated funds are spent "in the most efficient and effective way possible, he said. 

"If we're leaving millions or even a billion dollars in accounts where they're just collecting dust and not serving the people that seems like a poor way to utilize scare taxpayer dollars," Carper said. "I look forward to hearing from the administration about whether or not this problem still exists and if it does exist, working with them to find better ways to use the taxpayer dollars with which we've been entrusted."