Congressman Rob Woodall represents Georgia’s 7th Congressional District, which covers most of Gwinnett County. For the past few years, Woodall has repeatedly noted that the political philosophies he encounters in Washington DC are dramatically different from those of the majority of his constituents in Gwinnett County. As a result, he has been fighting an uphill battle, not only against Democrats, but against the entrenched Republican establishment.
Consequently, it was with a high degree of enthusiasm that Woodall posted on his Facebook page,
“We all know that it is tough to find agreement in Congress these days, but yesterday in the Oversight and Government Reform Committee, we made a bipartisan, bicameral commitment to end billions of dollars worth of wasteful and low priority government spending. I can’t remember another time in my three years in Congress when leaders from the House and Senate and leaders from the Democrats and the Republicans all came together with a commitment to move legislation forward. I want to spend less money in Washington and some of my colleagues want to spend more. Over that disagreement we will continue to fight. But we can all agree that every dollar that Washington does spend should be spent effectively and efficiently. Around this common ground, we will be saving federal taxpayers billions over the next several months.”
According to The Washington Post, “Sens. Tom Carper (D-Del.) and Tom Coburn (R-Okla.), who head the Senate Homeland Security and Government Affairs Committee, set the tone for a balanced discussion by testifying first. ‘The problem isn’t that we don’t know what the problem is,’ Coburn said. ‘The problem is that we [political leaders] don’t act.’”
Coburn recently released his annual ‘Waste Book,’ identifying $30 billion in supposedly frivolous spending on programs that included a study on romance novels and unused Defense Department blimps.
Carper said cutting waste is a bipartisan issue, adding that ‘the key is to find that 80 percent that we agree on.’ ” Also participating in the discussion were the National Taxpayers Union and the U.S. Public Interest Research Group.
This could be the long awaited light at the end of the tunnel of Congressional gridlock. Although many of the spending cuts endorsed by conservatives are unlikely to be implemented, it’s certainly a step in the direction of fiscal sanity that members of both parties have openly acknowledged that wasteful spending must be eliminated.
While a cut of billions of dollars is a drop in the bucket within the context of a $4 trillion budget and a $17 trillion national debt, it is an important start. In addition to the spending cuts that will be implemented in the short term, it establishes a platform for discussions about future spending cuts and perhaps sparks Congressional recognition of the vital need to strive for a sensible and sustainable fiscal policy.