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Senator Lankford Participates in March Madness Tournament of Government Waste

WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) joined Senators Rand Paul (R-KY), Jeff Flake (R-AZ), and former Senator, Dr. Tom Coburn (R-OK) in the Tournament of Government Waste, an informative way to generate a conversation on the need to eliminate the nation’s national debt. The tournament is hosted by Pursuit; Dr. Coburn’s non-profit to encourage young Americans to lead the discussion on issues that affect their generation. The tournament starts with eight match-ups to determine the most outrageous government spending decision and which should move on to the next round. The overall entry will win “Waste of the Year.” Voting will occur the entire week and will go four rounds. All are welcome to participate and can vote daily in each round until the conclusion of the tournament on Friday.

“Our growing national debt is serious,” said Lankford. “I’m glad to join my Senate colleagues in a friendly tournament to help shed light on the severe risk that faces future generations if it continues to be ignored. We will continue to highlight the number of wasteful and duplicative programs throughout the federal government while we continue the conversation on how we can resolve these issues. All votes are welcome for the most outrageous government spending decisions at www.ourpursuit.com.”

The tournament raises awareness on the country’s growing fiscal issues. Currently, the national debt is over $20 trillion with over $100 trillion in unfunded liabilities and hundreds of failing and duplicative government programs. Lankford has provided a number of solutions to lower the national debt, remove cumbersome regulations, and eliminate duplicative programs throughout the federal government with the annual release of Federal Fumbles: 100 Ways the Government Dropped the Ball. 

Lankford also introduced the Taxpayers Right to Know Act, a bipartisan bill to require the federal government to make public the details, costs, and performance metrics of every federal program that cost more than one million dollars.

Lankford was recently appointed to the Joint Select Committee on Budget and Appropriations Process Reform, a bi-partisan, bi-cameral panel tasked with reforming the entire budget and appropriations process. Lankford has proposed budget changes, government shutdown prevention incentives, and the elimination of budgeting gimmicks, which all add to the national debt. 

Lankford’s four submissions to the tournament are from the 2017 edition of Federal Fumbles and include:

  • The infamous $30,000 NEA grant for Doggie Hamlet, the musical featuring humans running around a field yelling at confused sheep and dogs,
  • Name that Plant, a National Science Foundation (NSF) Grant which spent $472, 142 to develop an audio database of native expert’s discussion of local flora in Mexico to determine the connection between migration and the knowledge of plants.
  • Art Camp for Adults, a $20,000 grant from the National Endowment for the Arts (NEA) that brought scientists and artist together for a summer camp to reflect and engage together on climate change issues,
  • $1 Billion Trolley, the Department of Transportation approved a $1.04 billion grant to San Diego to expand its trolley service by 10.9 miles.