Senator John Cornyn (R-TX) is a member of the Senate Budget Committee and released the following statement yesterday:
"I welcome the President-elect's commitment to reform the federal budget process and rein in wasteful spending. For my part, I look forward to working with President-elect Obama and Democratic leaders in Congress on quickly identifying and eliminating inefficient, ineffective and outdated federal programs."
"Families across Texas, and across the country, are forced to make tough decisions with their own budgets every day, particularly in the current economic climate. It should be no different for the federal government."
"Yet, year after year, too many government programs are funded because there are small - but vocal - special interest groups backing them with little Congressional oversight to determine when ideas have run their course. Already, in an initial analysis of 1,000 federal programs the Office of Management and Budget recently concluded that nearly 25 percent of them were either inefficient, or their efficiency could not be determined."
"That is why I have been a strong advocate for the creation of a Federal Sunset Commission to review federal spending programs. Modeled after Texas' own Sunset Commission, this bipartisan group would be tasked with reviewing federal programs, determining their efficiency, and making recommendations on whether they need reform or should be eliminated all together."
"While I have repeatedly pushed my colleagues in the Senate for this commission, it has never garnered the support it needs from the Democratic leadership. As the new session of Congress begins and President-elect Obama takes office, I will once again introduce my bill for a Federal Sunset Commission."
If President-elect Obama is sincere in his pledge to work in a bipartisan manner and reform Washington spending habits, he will find a willing partner. I look forward to working with the President-elect, his economic team, and my colleagues in Congress to start tackling wasteful spending of taxpayer dollars."
First introduced by Senator Cornyn, the United States Authorization and Sunset Commission Act dates back to June, 2007. There are four parts to the legislation:
* Create an eight member bipartisan Commission, made up of four Senators and four Representatives, that will look at the effectiveness and efficiency of federal programs and agencies.
* Establish 10 criteria for the Commission to use in developing its schedule and review proposal and its recommendations to Congress on whether agencies and programs should be abolished, streamlined, consolidated or reauthorized with recommendations for improvements.
* Require the Commission to submit a legislative proposal to Congress at least once every 10 years that includes a review schedule of at least 25 percent of ineffective federal programs or where effectiveness cannot be shown by the Office of Management and Budget's (OMB) Performance Assessment Rating Tool (PART).
* Call on the Commission to review each of the federal programs and agencies identified in the Schedule and Review proposal. The Commission will provide its findings and submit a legislative proposal necessary to implement their recommendations to Congress and the President every other year. Congress will have two years to consider and pass the Commission's recommendations or to reauthorize the program or agency before it is abolished."