"Waste Of The Week" on The National Desk: Use-It-Or-Lose-It Spending 179_TND_wotw

December 10, 2021 11:06 AM



by ELISSA SALAMY, The National Desk

WASHINGTON (TND) — Watchdog group Open the Books say they found that federal agencies have spent trillions of dollars in unnecessary government spending.

“Federal agencies spend down their budgets this year, to make sure that they get the same amount or more from Congress next year,” said Open The Books’ Adam Andrzejewski to The National Desk’s Jan Jeffcoat. “In the last week of the federal fiscal year, one out of every ten contracts is spent.”

According to Andrzejewski, Open the Books found that the Department of Defense spent $1 million on the Professional Bull Riders Association, and up to $5 million on lobster tail and snow crab.

Since 2019, Iowa Senator Joni Ernst has proposed a bill to cap agency spending during the last two months of the year, as agencies ramp up spending at the end of the fiscal year.

“Senator Ernst has this great reformed piece of legislation. And it says you couldn't spend more in the final two months of the year than what you spent on average for the previous 10 months,” said Andrzejewski.

Andrzejewski said if the bill applied to this past year, it would save over $600 billion in spending by Health and Human Services - which had an allocated $2.8 trillion for the year. But according to Andrzejewski, lawmakers don’t want to “talk about spending reform.”

“Right now we're debating the debt ceiling increase, and Senator Ernst's proposal should be attached to an increase in the debt ceiling. This is common-sense reform,” said Andrzejewski.

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