from the inbox, from Congressman Patrick Murphy:
Earlier this year, I called for a freeze on all non-defense related discretionary spending for Fiscal Year 2011, and cosponsored legislation that creates a Constitutional Amendment to require Congress to balance the budget each year.
While these are positive steps, they are not enough. Americans won't rest easy until the economy stabilizes and the debt is reduced. In this issue of the Murphy Report, I want to tell you about the bipartisan legislation I'm working on to cut spending:
* Recovering Misspent Money The federal government wastes $98 billion a year through improper payments. Improper payments occur when a federal agency pays too much or pays twice for a product or service, whether due to fraud or to poor financial management systems. I introduced a bill, HR 3393, the Improper Payments Elimination and Recovery Act, which weeds out these errors by increasing auditing and recovery standards throughout the federal government. We need to know where these errors are being made, stop them, and make sure they never happen again. This bill, which will save taxpayers billions, passed the House with bipartisan support on April 28, 2010 and awaits action in the Senate.
* Eliminating Wasteful Defense Spending The government loses billions of dollars each year through overpayments to contractors when it makes millitary purchases of weapons and services. The IMPROVE acquisition Act, a bipartisan bill which passed the House by a vote of 417-3, helps eliminate this kind of waste by overhauling the nation's defense acquisition system. I worked with my colleagues on this legislation to build a better accountability system so the Department of Defense has a way to measure performance and hold the right people accountable if the goods or services they bought fail to meet standards. It's estimated that this legislation will save taxpayers $135 billion over five years.
* Ending Congressional Pay Raises While families across the district are struggling in this tough economy, it's outrageous that Congress receives an automatic pay raise each year. I'm happy to say that the pay raise was blocked last year, and we recently voted to prevent the pay raise for the next fiscal year. However, blocking these automatic raises year to year is not enough. I am currently fighting for legislation that would eliminate the pay raise altogether.