Senator Lankford Releases Federal Fumbles, Fourth Volume of Government Waste Report
CLICK HERE to watch the video announcement.
CLICK HERE for a copy of Federal Fumbles, Vol. 4.
WASHINGTON, DC – Senator James Lankford (R-OK) today announced the fourth volume of his annual federal waste book, Federal Fumbles: Ways the federal government dropped the ball. The report highlights waste and inefficiency in the federal government and gives possible solutions to each of those issues.
“I view Federal Fumbles as my to-do list for the upcoming year, and my office works to address as many of the entries from previous Fumbles volumes as possible to help actually solve the waste and inefficiency, not just talk about it,” said Lankford. “This year’s volume focuses heavily on government inefficiency and wastes of time as well as federal tax dollars. The federal government should work for the taxpayers and spend your tax dollars wisely. As I have said many times, Congress cannot fix what it cannot see. This report sheds much-needed daylight on inefficient, ineffective taxpayer-funded programs and provides solutions to those issues. We also highlight the ‘Touchdowns’ and ‘Forward Progress’ that have been made from entries highlighted in previous versions of the report.”
CLICK HERE for a summary of the report.
On the fourth volume of Federal Fumbles
Hey, I’m Senator James Lankford, it’s really an honor to get a chance to be able to visit with you as we release our fourth addition of Federal Fumbles. Federal Fumbles is something we do every single year to be able to look at the waste and inefficiency in government, but also regulatory issues. Things the government is doing that they shouldn’t do, or things that the government is not doing that they should do. And then we also try to look at how can we improve the system for the American taxpayer. We do this as an exercise in our office every single year, and we think about it all year long for a couple of reasons. One is, I want our team to constantly be thinking about how can we can fix inefficiencies in the federal government. What can we do to make things better for the taxpayer, for Oklahomans in particular, and obviously all Americans. What do we need to do better? Working with every single agency. We build the list as we work through the year, but this is not just a list we do to just build a list. These are the to do list things that we do as a team. We also release this out to other offices. To say, ‘Have you considered thinking about some of these things as problems and as solutions?’ And to the agencies and obviously to the American people as well to say, ‘Somebody is working on this.’ We’re interested in your ideas. Some of these things are things that people contacted us and said, ‘Hey, have you taken a look at?’ And we took some time to be able to go research it and chase it down. And other things are things that we found that we thought the American people would want to see. With $22 trillion in total debt now as a nation, we know for certain we’re not going to get out of this without real economic growth as a nation and without dealing with our debt and deficit by being more careful in our spending. We do spend things as a government. It’s not that we don’t need a government; we do need a good government. We just need an efficient government. That’s what we’re trying to do with this.
On a solution to government shutdowns
(Starts at 1:53): We kicked off this year as we thought would be appropriate with the government shutdown. In trying to say, ‘We lost a lot of money and a lot of time through the government shutdown.’ It was not only inefficient and wasteful in the process, but at the end of the day, there are ways that we could have avoided it. We started working last year on trying to avoid government shutdowns by putting out a very simple proposal. If you get to the end of a budget year and the budget work is not done, Congress and the White House are still negotiating, which is going to happen over and over again. Then you hold the American people harmless. You hold federal workers harmless. You continue with last year’s spending, but what happens instead is White House staff, Members of Congress, and our staff, cannot travel at all and have to stay in Washington, DC, with what’s called, ‘A mandatory quorum call’. I know it’s technical, but everybody has got to be able to stay here until you keep going. It’s the basic thing that everybody does at work. You can’t leave until the work is actually done for most people. So you have to stay until your work is done. Congress doesn’t do that. In fact, we got to the end of our budget year in December and after a couple of days, everybody just left and went for Christmas but the shutdown was already on. We should have stayed to be able to work through that. And quite frankly, I think the shutdown would have been much shorter, and would have just had the effect on Congress if we just would have stayed until the work is done. There’s also changes we can do in the Budget Committee. There are changes we do in other committees in communications, some structural things. We tried to lay all these things out to say, ‘Let’s have the fight on policy issues. We’re going to have policy differences, as we did during the shutdown.’ But let’s make sure that the federal workers and the American people are held harmless during the process.
On Federal Fumbles Touchdowns
(Starts at 6:20): We don’t just talk about the bad though, we also talk about the good. We try to lay out the areas that we actually have made progress. We outlined a human trafficking issue that we need to address as a nation on trying to protect people in human trafficking. That’s something that Congress actually addressed, actually passed last year and we think will be a significant shift in human trafficking in the United States.
We outlined and brought up the issue of Kaspersky. It’s a virus protection software that’s run by the Russians that’s actually getting all kinds of information and taking it to Russia. It was actually on the list for the federal government of some of the software we were using on federal computers, this Russian software. We exposed it in the Federal Fumbles—over the past year, that has been eliminated from federal computers all over the United States Government.
We highlighted an issue, if you can believe it, with bad driving among USDA and some of the food inspectors. Thirty-five percent of all the vehicles that are on the road, that are federal vehicles, are from this USDA food inspection group about 55 percent of the complaints that are out there. We found out that none of those complaints are even being evaluated. You know if you gather data, you should actually use data. It is now being evaluated and is now being addressed because we highlighted it on Federal Fumbles.