By Vicki Needham - 03/03/11 08:00 PM EST
The lawmakers cited the Government Accountability Office's report earlier this week that identified hundreds of duplicative programs costing billions of dollars.
"Each year, the federal government washes billions of taxpayer dollars down the drain through wasteful and duplicative spending," McCain said.
The letter also called for Congress to periodically determine whether or not every government program is working as intended, is still needed, or is worthy of continued taxpayer support.
To ensure this happens, any legislation establishing or continuing an agency, office or program must also include a sunset date, when Congress must decide whether or not to update or extend the life of the program.
The lawmakers also are requesting that the cost and text of bills must be made publicly available in an electronic format for at least three full days along with a cost estimate completed by the Congressional Budget Office (CBO) prior to being passed.
"To restore the intended balance of powers between the states and the federal government and to preserve the freedoms guaranteed by the Constitution, all bills must have a clear and obvious basis connected to one of the enumerated powers and must not infringe upon any of the rights guaranteed to the people," the letter also said.
"By holding bills that spend irresponsibly and overstep the proper role of the federal government, we can begin to rebuild their trust and make Congress more transparent and accountable," Lee said. "I'm proud to stand with my colleagues who agree that this wasteful, irresponsible spending must stop."