GOP seeks internal agency spending plans

GOP seeks internal agency spending plans
© Greg Nash

Republicans on the House Energy and Commerce Committee have asked several federal agencies to reveal any internal accounting plans officials may have used to identify spending cuts. 

In a series of Friday letters, the lawmakers noted a December Washington Post report about a Pentagon study that highlighted a “clear path” to $125 billion in cost savings at the Department of Defense over five years. 

The letters — to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and the Departments of Energy, Commerce, and Health and Human Services — requested officials provide “any internal study produced for your department ... similar to the internal study produced at the Department of Defense.”

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“We look forward to working cooperatively and constructively with you in streamlining administration of programs and achieving significant budget savings,” Energy and Commerce Committee Chairman Greg WaldenGregory (Greg) Paul WaldenHillicon Valley: Trump backs potential Microsoft, TikTok deal, sets September deadline | House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing | Facebook labels manipulated Pelosi video Top House Republicans request classified TikTok briefing Pelosi huddles with chairmen on surprise billing but deal elusive MORE (R-Ore.) and Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyBiden receives endorsements from three swing-district Democrats A federal abortion law might be needed Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations MORE (R-Pa.) the chairman of the committee's oversight panel, wrote in the letters.

The committee asked the agencies to review the Pentagon’s report if they haven’t conducted a cost savings study of their own. They said that if the agencies do have a similar report, officials should detail steps they have taken to implement the spending proposals.

The letters come before the Trump administration and Republicans in Congress begin grappling with federal spending matters, an issue that could impact the bottom lines of all four agencies that received letters from Walden and Murphy. Trump transition officials, for instance, have suggested deep spending cuts the EPA.

The White House will reveal its plans for the agencies when it releases a budget this spring.