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March 04. 2013 2:34PM

Kuster cosponsors bipartisan bill to address waste in federal government

U.S. Rep. Annie Kuster has signed on as a cosponsor of bipartisan legislation that would enact a series of waste-cutting recommendations put forward by the nonpartisan Government Accountability Office (GAO).

The New Hampshire Democrat called it "common sense" legislation and said it's a "no brainer" that it should be at least debated and voted on,especially with the sequester now under way.

In a statement to be released shortly, Kuster says the bill, called the Government Waste Reduction Act, "will cut through congressional gridlock to help save billions of dollars and streamline services, all while protecting priorities that seniors and middle class families count on.

"Cutting waste and duplication in government shouldn't be a Republican or Democratic issue. It's just common sense," Kuster says. "These proposals alone won't solve all of our fiscal challenges, but they are sensible steps that will make our government more efficient, effective, and accountable to the American people."

In 2011 and 2012, the GAO released reports outlining wasteful and duplicative government programs that should be consolidated or eliminated, Kuster pointed out. For example, she says, the reports "highlight overlap between 53 federal programs to assist entrepreneurs and small businesses, 20 entities that provide housing assistance, and over 200 Department of Justice grant programs."

The Government Waste Reduction Act would create an independent, bipartisan panel to produce legislation incorporating GAO's waste-cutting recommendations. The legislative proposal would receive an expedited, up-or-down vote in Congress, and could not include cuts to benefits for seniors, veterans, or military service members.

The legislation was introduced by freshman Rep. Cheri Bustos, D-IL, and has been cosponsored by members of both parties.

"Today's announcement builds on Kuster's commitment to bringing Republicans and Democrats together to stop the sequester and reduce the deficit in a balanced, responsible way that will spur job creation, grow the economy, and protect middle class families," according to Kuster's office. Last month, she was a founding member of the United Solutions Caucus, a bipartisan coalition of Republican and Democratic freshmen focused on addressing the nation's fiscal challenges in a balanced way.



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