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 WaldenCBO: Pelosi bill to lower drug prices saves Medicare 5 billion Trump official declines to testify on trade protections for tech platforms House panel asks Trump trade official to testify on legal protections for tech platforms MORE (R-Ore.) and Rep. Tim MurphyTim MurphyA federal abortion law might be needed Female Dems see double standard in Klobuchar accusations Pennsylvania New Members 2019 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.