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NH Sen. Ayotte: Wasteful spending needs to go

WASHINGTON - Republican U.S. Sen. Kelly Ayotte issued a news release Wednesday saying taxpayers shouldn't keep footing the bill for duplicative, wasteful programs.

She referred to the Government Accountability Office 2013 annual report saying it identifies 31 areas "where federal agencies could achieve greater efficiency - including 17 areas of duplication and 14 areas of potential cost-savings."

Ayotte cosponsored the Taxpayers Right-to-Know-Act, which would require federal agencies to provide an annual "report card" of all federal programs, how they perform, and their cost-effectiveness.

"Over the past three years, GAO has identified 162 areas of fragmentation, overlap, and duplication in federal agencies," Ayotte said. "Yet, the GAO's 2013 report found that of its approximately 300 recommended actions, only 65 were addressed, 149 were partially-addressed, and 85 were not addressed by Congress or the Executive Branch."

The GAO reviewed 31 areas of government spending, including 17 areas of extensive duplication, fragmentation, and overlap, and 14 areas of larger potential cost-savings through addressing waste and management, the release said.

Ayotte listed the following as examples of areas of duplication:

-- 76 federal drug abuse prevention and treatment programs are spread across 15 agencies

-- 23 agencies implemented 679 renewable energy programs at a cost of $15 billion in fiscal year 2010

--159 contracting organizations in 10 Pentagon offices provide foreign language support

--Among 29 Department of Homeland Security contracts worth $66 billion, GAO found 35 instances where the contracts overlapped with existing DHS activities

--Three federal offices have oversight of catfish inspections

"Duplicative programs are an obvious place to find savings, and that's why I've voted numerous times to save billions of taxpayer dollars by consolidating or eliminating overlapping government programs," Ayotte said.

"With $17 trillion in debt, there's no excuse for Congress' failure to act on GAO's common sense recommendations."

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