Cantor announces spending effort in partnership with Dems

At a time of budget battles between Republicans and Democrats, House Majority Leader Eric Cantor (R-Va.) announced Thursday a new bipartisan, bicameral effort to reform government and reduce waste that he will be working on in conjunction with House Minority Whip Steny Hoyer (D-Md.).


The effort will focus on putting into practice a series of recent recommendations by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) which has identified dozens of areas of waste and duplication.

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That report was called for by Sen. Tom Coburn (R-Okla.) and he will be leading the Senate side of the effort.

Cantor said that to facilitate committee work, a new process will be developed to come up with at least three concrete proposals in the short term.

“Partnering with Senator Coburn and Democratic Whip Steny Hoyer, these bipartisan, bicameral efforts will directly address the extremely concerning GAO report that identified billions of dollars in taxpayer money that is going to waste on duplicative and overlapping federal programs,” Cantor said.

“In the coming days we will be working to set up a process so that members from the various affected committees can work together to propose crosscutting solutions, focusing on at least three specific areas that we can address most quickly,” he said.

A Democrat aide said “Hoyer and Cantor have talked about what can be done to respond to the GAO report, and are still talking.”

In the Senate, Majority Leader Harry Reid (D-Nev.) and Minority Leader Mitch McConnell (R-Ky.) have both endorsed looking at the report as a starting point for saving hundreds of billions in spending.

The 34 areas identified by the GAO for reform are:

  1. The fragmented food safety system
  2. Realigning the military’s medical command
  3. Streamlining 31 agencies that provide for urgent soldier needs
  4. Lack of coordination by counter-improvised explosive devices
  5. Streamlining military intelligence gathering
  6. Avoiding duplicate purchasing of tactical wheeled vehicles
  7. Improve oversight of Defense’ prepositioning and stockpiling programs
  8. Defense business systems can be modernized
  9. The fragmented economic development programs 
  10. Federal transportation programs that lack accountability
  11. Duplicative federal effort to provide water to the Mexico border region
  12. Conflicting federal vehicle energy goals
  13. Duplicative ethanol programs
  14. Government IT systems have divergent goals
  15. Duplicative federal data centers
  16. Duplicative contracting agencies
  17. Reviewing tax earmarks
  18. Modernizing health records by Defense and Veterans Affairs
  19. Controlling drug costs by Defense and Veterans Affairs
  20. Integrating public health information systems
  21. Integrating systems against biowarfare
  22. Duplication in securing the northern border
  23. Justice Department explosives investigations
  24. Transportation Security Agency’s assessments of commercial trucking
  25. Homeland Security can streamline information collecting with public transit agencies.
  26. FEMA can improve oversight of grants
  27. Duplicative development efforts in Afghanistan
  28. Overlapping arms control bureaus
  29. Administrative overlap on domestic food assistance
  30. Lack of coordination of federal homelessness programs
  31. Waste in transportation programs for the disadvantaged
  32. Duplication in job training programs
  33. Multiple programs ensuring teacher quality
  34. Fragmented financial literacy programs