Tester, McCaskill take aim at government redundancy with joint hearing series

Senators’ subcommittees join forces for a set of hearings that will dig into duplicative government programs, increase efficiency and effectiveness

(U.S. SENATE) – Recognizing that every dollar must stretch further and every government program must be able to justify its expenditures-or even existence-U.S. Senators Jon Tester (Mont.) and Claire McCaskill (Mo.) today announced a joint series of hearings designed to improve government efficiency, streamline or eliminate duplicative programs and boost economic growth.

Tester and McCaskill-both of whom have earned reputations as independent members of their caucus-each lead subcommittees of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee. They will combine the resources and focus of those panels for the hearing series aimed at better spending taxpayer dollars.

The first of these hearings later this week, in McCaskill’s Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight, will examine opportunities to streamline and improve the management and oversight of the U.S. Trade and Development Agency and the Overseas Private Investment Corporation.

Tester-Chairman of the Subcommittee on the Efficiency and Effectiveness of Federal Programs and the Federal Workforce-will follow up with a hearing early next year entitled “A More Efficient and Effective Government: Improving the Regulatory Framework,” which will examine a government-wide review, initiatied by President Obama, that sought to catalogue the effects of some current regulations, and identify ways to streamline, improve, or eliminate outdated regulations.

“We’ve got situations in the federal government where there are two or more programs with the same goal-often with very little coordination or cooperation,” said McCaskill, a former Missouri State Auditor. “We need to find a way to streamline programs and regulations with the goal of saving money and continuing our economic recovery.”

“Rebuilding trust in government starts with making sure government agencies are meeting the needs of the American people and wisely using taxpayer dollars,” Tester said. “These hearings will shed more light on where we can cut the fat to make sure agencies are focused on serving the public, getting the best bang for the buck and promoting economic growth.”

“Any proposal to consolidate operations that would actually reduce spending are welcome and should be enacted,” said Senator Ron Johnson, ranking Republican member of the Subcommittee on Financial & Contracting Oversight. “This is an area where we can work on a bipartisan basis to reform the government to make it more efficient, effective, and accountable to taxpayers.”

The series of hearings will include top officials of government agencies, as well as representatives from various stakeholder groups, including think-tanks, issue advocates and business interests.